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Summary of how the 09 Budget affects the Migration Program

A migration agent has just advised me of the following changes:

The Migration Program will total 168,700 places for 2009-10.

• The Federal Government's 2009 Budget has made a further cut to the permanent skilled migration intake to 108,000 places for the 2009-10 program (a 20% reduction to the previous budget)

• The reduction will be achieved largely through cutbacks in the General Skilled Category

• A job-readiness test will be introduced for onshore skilled applicants

• The Government will be increasing the English language requirement for trades occupation to IELTS 6 from 1 July 2009 for offshore applicants and 1 January 2010 for onshore applicants

• There will be fewer visas granted to trade level occupations

• There will be an increase in family migration places to 60,300, including addition 2500 for partners, 1000 for contributory parents and 300 for child visas

• Increased humanitarian Program to 13,750 (7750 Special Humanitarian and 6000 refugee)

• Increased funding to improve detention centres

• DIAC staff reductions

• Increased costs for DIAC to establish the new Office of the MARA

Full details of the Government's Budget statements can be found at: http://www.immi.gov.au/about/reports/budget/budget09/budget09pbs.htm

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