The Australian government will continue to set 190,000 places for the migration program in 2013-14, the same level as the previous year, according to an announcement by Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Brendan O'Connor on 14 May 2013. Of the total places for the 2013-14 migration program, 128,550 visas will go to skilled migrants and 60,885 visas will be for family migration. There will also 565 places for migration under special eligibility. In addition, in response to the continuing high demand for visas under family stream from Australians, especially in the partner category, 700 places will be moved from the skilled stream to the family stream. "Skilled migration continues to make up more than two-thirds of the program because of its obvious benefits to our economy and society," said Minister O'Connor. "Targeted skilled migration enables Australia's economy to grow by addressing skills gaps and bottlenecks." In the announcement, Minister O'Connor highlighted that the government's top priority will always be jobs for Australians. Skilled migration will continue to be carefully targeted to ensure skilled migrants compliment but not replace the domestic labour force. "Our regional and state and territory skilled migration program categories are unchanged - we remain committed to helping regional economies and communities grow." "A regionally focused skilled migration program which targets the best and brightest combined with a family program that enables Australians to live with their close relatives and partners will continue to deliver for Australia," Minister O'Connor stated. If you are interested in Australian visas, contact Migration Expert for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you. You can also try our visa eligibility assessment to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to Australia. Source: http://www.migrationexpert.com/australia/visa/australian_immigration_news/2013/may/0/697/australia_announces_2013-14_migration_program
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