The Skill Select invitation round results for 11 April 2020 have been published by the Department of Home Affairs (the Department). A summary of this data is provided below for the following points-based skilled visas:

  • Subclass 189 Skilled – Independent visa; and
  • Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Family Sponsored visa.

State and Territory nomination approvals for the following skilled visas have also been released:

  • Subclass 190 Skilled – Nominated visa; and
  • Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) State Nominated visa.

Links to results for the following business visas are provided further below in this article:

  • Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) visa (subclass 188); and
  • Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132).

Invitation round results

Total invitations issued

The total number of invitations issued to date in the 2019/20 migration programme year are set out below.

Visa subclass July 2019 August 2019 September 2019 October 2019 November 2019 December 2019 January 2020 February 2020 March 2020 April

2020

May

2020

Jun

2020

Total issued in 2019/20
Skilled – Independent (subclass 189)

 

1,000 100 100 1,500 250 250 1,000 1,000 1,750 50     7,000
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) – Family Sponsored*

 

200 300 500 300 50     1,350
Total

 

1,000 100 100 1,500 250 450 1,300 1,500 2,050 100     8,350

 

*The information in the above table for the subclass 491 visa is for the family-sponsored stream only. State Nominated invitations (including for the Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190) visa) are issued separately by each State and Territory Government (see below for more information).

Invitations issued for the Subclass 189 visa in the April round have significantly decreased compared with the previous round, with only 50 invitations issued in this latest round, as against the 1,750 which were issued last month. For the Subclass 491 visa – Family Sponsored stream, there was also a substantial decrease for the month, also falling to only 50 invitations in this round compared with 300 which were issued in March 2020.

Points score cut-off

Expression of Interest (EOI) applicants needed to achieve the following minimum points scores to receive an invitation in the April 2020 round.

 

Visa subclass Minimum points score Date of effect (last invited applicant)
Skilled – Independent (subclass 189) 95 25 March 2020
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) – Family Sponsored

 

95 10 April 2020

 

Our article on the New Skilled Regional Visas to be introduced explains how EOI applicants are ranked under this process.

The data shows that the minimum points score required to receive an invitation for the subclass 189 visa in the April 2020 round increased by 5 points compared with the previous invitation round. The last invited applicant submitted an EOI on 25 March 2020. The wait time to receive an invitation this month decreased compared with last month, falling from approximately 6 weeks to 2 ½ weeks in the latest round.

The minimum points score required to receive an invitation for the subclass 491 visa also increased this month, rising by 10 points compared with the previous month. Subclass 491 visa EOI applicants who achieved a minimum points score of 95 and who submitted their EOI by 10 April 2020 secured an invitation in this latest round. There was virtually no wait time this month (only 1 day) compared with five weeks to secure an invitation in March.

This data continues the trend of a significantly higher points score being required to secure an invitation, compared with the minimum 65 points that is required to validly lodge an EOI for both subclass 189 and 491 EOI applicants. The increase in points scores required for both visa classes in this latest round has resulted in a 30-point difference between the minimum score required to validly lodge an EOI, compared with the score needed to secure an invitation.

Invitations issued based on points score in the April 2020 round are set out below.

Points score for invited applicants Number of invitations issued for the subclass 189 visa Number of invitations issued for the subclass 491 visa*
95 17 27
100 15 9
105 12 13
110 >5 1
115 >5 0
120 >5 0
Total 50 50


*This data is for the family-sponsored stream only.

Most invitations were issued to EOI applicants with a points score of 95 for the subclass 189 visa in this round, accounting for 34% of the total number of invitations issued in April. This was closely followed by the 100-points bands score, which made up 30% of invitations issued for the month. The remaining invitations were issued in the 105 to 120 range of points score bands (note the exact number of invitations issued in the 110, 115 and 120 points score bands cannot be ascertained; the Department has advised only that less than five invitations have been issued in each of these points-score bands).

For the subclass 491 Family Sponsored visa, the largest number of invitations issued in April were in the 95 points score band, which accounted for 54% of the total invitations issued for the month. 105 points was the band which allocated the next highest number of invitations, making up 26% of the total number of invitations issued in the April round. 100 points was the next band, accounting for 18% of overall invitations issued this month. The one remaining invitation was issued in the 110 points score band. No invitations were issued in either the 115 or 120 points score bands.

The invitations issued in April represent a departure from the trend we have been seeing in recent months, where in the three months to February, there was a gradual rise in the number of invitations being issued for the subclass 491 visa, as was expected based on the Government’s efforts in pushing for a greater amount of regional migration, and which we had therefore anticipated would lead to these positive results continuing. But the results in the last two months (March and April) show this trend now turning, firstly with a slight reduction in invitations issued in March, followed by a very substantial decrease this month (a fall of 83%). This is a significant fall, and we will continue to observe this closely over the coming months to see where it leads. Some other factors to consider are the fact that it is likely to take some time for demand for places for this visa to build up, given it is a new visa programme (it was only introduced on 16 November 2019). As more prospective applicants learn about this visa subclass, uptake should also increase.

Similarly, for the subclass 189 visa, we have seen a very significant reduction in invitations issued in April. The trend of a gradual rise in the three months to March 2020 has been reversed this month with a 97% reduction in invitations issued in April, compared with the previous month. This may be somewhat expected, given the decrease in places allocated to the Subclass 189 visa this year compared with the 2018/19 migration programme year (only 16,652 places are available this year, compared with 34,247 visas granted for this subclass last year.

It is also important to consider current events in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It would be reasonable to assume that the huge rise in unemployment over the last few months could be a factor in the steep reduction in invitations issued. Indeed the Government has flagged the issue of a substantial reduction in the net migration intake, at least for the next two years. The closed borders are also a likely factor contributing to the low numbers, a situation which is likely to remain in place for at least the next few months, if not extending into 2021.

Also be aware that some states and territories have now closed their business migration programmes until 1 July 2020, with available places in the 2019-2020 financial year filled up. Some jurisdictions are also no longer accepting new applications for the subclass 190 and 491 visas.

Invitations issued for the most in-demand occupations

The below data shows the number of invitations that were issued in April 2020 to applicants in occupations which had the highest demand for places. Invitations for these skilled occupations are pro-rated, with the result that they are spread out evenly throughout the year. By applying a pro-rata system, this avoids all places being taken up at the start of the year (which would have otherwise occurred due to the strong demand for places), meaning that EOI applicants can still receive invitations in the middle and end of the year.

Available places are first allocated to the subclass 189 visa, with any remaining issued to subclass 491 Family Sponsored EOI applicants. If all places are taken up by the subclass 189 visa, then there will be no invitations issued for subclass 491 visas in these occupations.

Occupation (ANZSCO code) Visa Subclass Minimum points score required in the 11 April 2020 invitation round Date of effect Invitations issued to 11 April 2020* Occupation ceiling for the 2019/20 year (maximum number of invitations available)
Accountants (2211) 189 100 25 March 2020 654 2,746
Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers (2212) 189 95 16 January 2020 371 1,552
Electronics Engineer (2334)   189 95 20 March 2020 223 1,000
  491 95 18 March 2020
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers (2335) 189 95 18 March 2020 381 1,600
  491 105 19 November 2019
Other Engineering Professionals (2339)       189 95 23 March 2020 237 1,000
  491 105 11 December 2019
ICT Business and System Analysts (2611) 189 95 13 March 2020 608 2,587
  491 105 2 April 2020
Software and Applications Programmers (2613)       189 95 24 March 2020 1,926 8,748
  491 95 10 April 2020
Computer Network Professionals (2631)       189 95 21 March 2020 599 2,553


*Please note these are total invitations issued across the subclass 189 and 491 visas (as well as the 489 visa before its closure), from 1 July 2019 to date. The Department does not release figures to show the break-up of invitations issued between these three visa subclasses.

To explain what the data in the above table means, we will look at the nominated occupation category of Other Engineering Professionals (ANZSCO code 2339).  The data shows that subclass 189 EOI applicants needed at least 95 points, and to have lodged their EOI by 23 March 2020, to receive an invitation in the April 2020 round. For Subclass 491 EOI applicants, a minimum points score of 105 was required to secure an invitation for this occupation in this latest invitation round, and the EOI was required to be submitted to the Department by 11 December 2019.

The information also shows that there are 1,000 total available places for this occupation category in the current year, of which 237 invitations have already been issued since 1 July 2019. This leaves 763 places remaining to be allocated throughout the rest of 2019/20 year (ending on 30 June 2020).

For the subclass 189 visa, the points score required to secure an invitation in all the above pro-rated occupation categories increased by 5 points compared with the previous monthly round, with the one exception being for ANZSCO code 2212, which remained the same.

There were also changes to points required for the subclass 491 visa this month, with an increase of 10 points needed to secure an invitation for ANZSCO codes 2334 and 2613. Invitations were also issued for ANZSCO codes 2335, 2339 and 2611 where 105 points were achieved (nil invitations were issued for these pro-rated occupations last month).

You can find more information on occupation ceilings and invitations issued for each nominated occupation category (including for non-pro-rated occupations) up to 11 April 2020, at the following link:

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skillselect/occupation-ceilings

State and Territory Government nominations

Total invitations issued in March

Invitations issued by State and Territory Governments for the subclass 491 and 190 visa programmes in March 2020 are set out below.

Visa subclass ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA Total
Subclass 190 visa 89 327 54 0 59 116 278 92 1,015
Subclass 491 visa 57 0 49 228 142 129 125 33 763
Total 146 327 103 228 201 245 403 125 1,778

 

Nominations issued in March for the subclass 190 visa increased in most states and territories compared with February. As with the previous month, WA saw the largest increase, jumping 136% for the month. Next was NSW, which experienced a 122% increase. This was followed by Tasmania, VIC and TAS, which saw rises of 87%, 46% and 22% respectively. The ACT remained virtually the same compared with the previous month, with a slight increase of 3 nominations granted in March.

Only QLD and the NT saw a reduction in March. QLD was down from 137 nomination granted last month, to nil in March. In the NT, there was a 31% fall.

For the subclass 491 visa, there was no change in the ACT, with 57 nominations again approved in March (the same as in February). NSW also saw no change, remaining at nil for the month. There was an increase in all other states and territories, with the exception of SA, where was a 37% decrease in nominations approved compared with the previous month. Nomination approvals increased in WA (175%), NT (104%), QLD (100%), VIC (36%) and TAS (15%).

Total invitations issued in 2019/2020

Total invitations issued by State and Territory Governments from 1 July 2019 to 31 March 2020 were as follows:

 

Visa subclass ACT NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA Total
Subclass 190 visa 967 2,032 337 1,000 1,001 764 1,837 608 8,546
Subclass 491 visa (State Sponsored) 122 0 113 493 453 552 384 82 2,199
Total 1,089 2,032 450 1,493 1,454 1,316 2,221 690 10,745

 

Business visas

You can access the latest monthly and aggregate data for nominations issued for the Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) subclass 188 visa and the Business Talent (Permanent) subclass 132 visa at the following link:

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skillselect/invitation-rounds

Further Information

Please refer to our article on the Skillselect Invitation round August 2018 results for further information about the EOI process.

Also see the results of the previous invitation round in our article on the Skill Select Invitation Round – 13 March 2020.

For further information about the recently introduced Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa, please see the following articles:

New Skilled Regional Visas to be introduced

An overview on all Skilled Regional Sponsored Visas

Further Regulations released for the new regional sponsored visas to commence from 16 November 2019

Applications for the new provisional regional sponsored visas are now open

Sources/Links:

https://paxmigration.com.au/skillselect-invitation-round-july-2018/

https://paxmigration.com.au/skill-select-invitation-round-13-march-2020/

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skillselect/invitation-rounds

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skillselect/occupation-ceilings

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/migration-program-planning-levels

https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/research-and-stats/files/report-migration-program-2018-19.pdf