New figures show that Australia’s annual immigrant intake numbers are not meeting the government’s set target.
Official figures show that the intake for the 2016-2017 migration year was 183,608 people – short of the 190,000 cap.
What’s more, as of 30th April 2018, the 2017-18 immigrant intake stood at just 138,086. This means that unless there is a huge upward surge in the last few months of the current migration year, this year’s immigrant intake is set to fall 20,000 people short of the target.
The 138,086 number was made up of 91,302 in skilled migration, 44,193 family visas and 2,591 children.
Officials at the Department of Home Affairs believe that a reason for the fall is that visa applications in skilled migration, family and children categories are more complex than they used to be. This is partly because technology was increasing the amount of international data that could indicate risks to particular applicants.
“As we connect what were formerly standalone, isolated immigration integrity risk systems to intelligence databases … as you couple more databases onto your checking mechanism, you get more what are known as ‘hits’ in our trade. They have to be resolved,” said Michael Pezzullo, the Head of the Department.
The downturn in annual intake numbers could pe problematic to the country’s future economic growth.
A recent study by Treasury and Home Affairs found migrants accounted for two-thirds of net jobs created over the past five years, with the percentage even more pronounced for full-time employment.
The joint report found migrants were not replacing Australian workers.
Article published 23rd May 2018