Just over 160,300 individuals were given a permanent visa in 2018-19, slightly down on last year when 162,417 were granted permanent residency.
The annual migration cap is 190,000 but this year the Australian government processed around 162,417 applications, almost 30,000 fewer.
Migration agents are of the view that the main reason for the decline is the long processing times, rather than lack of demand for the unallocated visas. The bulk of the places were filled by skilled workers, with 109,713 granted under the skilled stream, or about 70 per cent of the total intake.
About 51,000 family and child visas were also granted – less than the number of parent and family visa applications waiting for assessment as of April.
The government’s reduced cap on annual permanent migration to 160,000 comes into effect this financial year, as it tries to address concerns about traffic congestion and rising house prices in cities. At the same time as the number of permanent migrants fall, there’s been an increase in temporary skilled workers and international students.