Australia has an immigration program to follow under the name of Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). This organization is responsible for reviewing and issuing all visas to enter Australia. DIAC accepts 170,000 permanent immigration applications annually for family and work immigration programs, as well as 500,000 under the student visa program and 250,000 under temporary entry to Australia. More than three million visas are issued each year to visit Australia through Australia Visa and around 14,000 visas are granted each year for humanitarian aid programs.
There is a budget of around 200,000 visas issued for permanent residence, but it can be changed or adjusted by the relevant minister depending on the skills required, the feelings of the citizens and other political circumstances. DIAC manages 149 visa subcategories, of which 25 subcategories represent approximately 97% of all visas issued. These subcategories belong to worker, family, visitor and student visas and humanitarian visas, and are also reclassified as temporary and permanent visas and internal and external visas.
Worker: These are employer sponsored visas that are issued for the purpose of working in Australia. They are further classified into temporary, permanent, as well as on land and sea. This visa includes expatriates from fields such as religion, sport, diplomacy, entertainment and academia.
Family: This visa application is the second largest category of immigrants and adds up to about a third of all permanent residences each year. There are approximately 45,000 visas granted annually under this program to spouses and dependents of current visa holders.
Visitor: This is the largest batch of visas approved by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. This award is given to citizens who wish to visit and visit Australia for a short period. However, this program also has a unique component that the DIAC also grants “working holiday visas” and “work and holiday visas” which allow visitors to work and earn a living in the country while on vacation.
Student: This is awarded to foreign citizens who wish to study in Australia at an accredited university. Any international student wishing to take a course in primary or secondary education, Intensive English Courses for Foreign Students (ELICOS), vocational training and traditional higher education are eligible for this visa. After completing their studies, these are also eligible for employer-sponsored work visas.
Humanitarian: Australia issues a fixed number of 14,000 visas per year to refugee applicants seeking refuge in Australia on humanitarian grounds.