Australia’s sets a maximum number of places for its migration program every year. And, for 2020 and 2021, the total places available is capped at a ceiling of 160,000. Some of the key highlights are: 

  • 79,600 places allocated in the Skill stream 

  • 77,300 places have been allocated to the Family stream 

  • Only 6,500 places allocated to Skilled Independent visas 

2020 and 2021 Places for Family Stream visas

The Australian Government allocated more places to the Family stream this year. As a result, 77,300 places are available in the Family stream. And, the majority of permanent residency places are for partner visas. 

Family-stream permanent residence visas are for: 

  • partners, children, parents or dependent relatives of an Australian citizen, permanent resident of Australia or eligible New Zealand citizens 

  • children being adopted or in the process of being adopted outside of Australia 

  • carers who need to move to Australia to provide long-term care for an approved relative

Family Stream Number of available places
Partner 72,300
Parent 4,500
Other Family 500
Family Total 77,300

New English language rules for Australian partner visas

The Australian Government announced new English language requirements for partner visas. We’ll help you with information about English language, what ‘functional English’ is, and where you can find reliable information. 

2020 and 2021 Places for Skilled stream visas

For 2020 and 2021, the Australian Government has made significant changes to the permanent migration program for work visas. Now, only 79,600 places are allocated in the Skill stream. Compared to last year, that is a decline of almost 30,000 places. But, from the 79,600 places available under the skilled stream in 2020-21, 6,500 are reserved for Skilled Independent visas. The Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) is a points based visa. These visas allow you to settle anywhere in Australia. 

So, according to this year’s list, most visa places are available for the Global Talent, the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) and Employer-Sponsored visas. 

Skill stream permanent residence visas are: 

  • designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia 

  • attract highly talented individuals, with entrepreneurial ideas and cutting-edge skills 

Skilled Stream Number of available places
Employer-sponsored 22,000
Skilled Independent 6,500
Regional 11,200
State/Territory nominated 11,200
Business Innovation & Investment program 13,500
Global Talent 15,00
Distinguished Talent 200
Skilled Total 76,600

Your IELTS options: The IELTS General Training test has been developed to test your every-day, non-academic English. It is accepted for migration purposes. 

We also offer the IELTS Academic test. That’s if you wish to study at university or college as an undergraduate or postgraduate student or join or gain entry into a professional institution. 

What IELTS score do you need for a Skilled visa?

Check what IELTS score you need for your visa. You can also have a look at the full list of Australian visas and what language test you may need. 

IELTS for the Skilled Independent Visa 

The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) requires an expression of interest. The higher the score on your IELTS test, the more points you can get towards your migration application.

IELTS and the Department of Home Affairs: 

  • complete the test within 3 years from the date of submitting a valid visa application 

  • achieve the required test scores in a single attempt at the test 

IELTS for the Skilled Regional visa 

A Skilled Regional sponsored visa (subclass 489) requires an expression of interest. The higher the score on your IELTS test, the more points you can get towards your migration application.

IELTS and the Department of Home Affairs: 

  • complete the test within 3 years from the date of submitting a valid visa application 

  • achieve the required test scores in a single attempt at the test 

IELTS for the Skilled Nominated visa 

Finally, the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) also requires an expression of interest. The higher the score on your IELTS test, the more points you can get towards your migration application.

IELTS and the Department of Home Affairs: 

  • complete the test within 3 years from the date of submitting a valid visa application 

  • achieve the required test scores in a single attempt at the test 

IELTS for the Employer Nomination (Subclass 186) 

Are you applying for the Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa? You need to demonstrate that you meet certain minimum standards of English language proficiency (unless exemptions apply). IELTS helps you prove your language proficiency. 

Required IELTS results for the Direct Entry Stream 

  • You must have at least competent English to be granted this stream of the visa. 

Required IELTS results for the Temporary Residence Transition stream 

  • You must have at least competent English to be granted this stream of the visa. 

IELTS for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) 

Are you applying for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) visa? You need to demonstrate that you meet certain minimum standards of English language proficiency (unless exemptions apply). IELTS helps you prove your language proficiency. 

Required IELTS results for the Direct Entry Stream 

  • You must have at least competent English to be granted this stream of the visa. 

Required IELTS results for the Temporary Residence Transition stream 

  • You must have at least competent English to be granted this stream of the visa. 

Distinguished Talent visa (Subclass 124) 

Are you applying for the Distinguished Talent visa (Subclass 124) visa? You need to demonstrate that you meet certain minimum standards of English language proficiency (unless exemptions apply). IELTS helps you prove your language proficiency. 

Required IELTS results for this visa 

  • You must have at least functional English to be granted this stream of the visa.