Please be aware that as of 16 November 2019, the Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa has been replaced by a new Subclass 491 Work Regional (Provisional) visa. The Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa has also been replaced by a new Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa. These new visas have a five-year term and provide a pathway to permanent residence with a new Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa, which will be introduced from 16 November 2022.
Applications under the Second Provisional Visa stream of the Subclass 489 visa continue to be accepted. To qualify under this stream, you must hold a subclass 475, 487, 495 or 496 visa at time of lodgement of your application. Be aware that these visa subclasses are no longer being granted by the Department of Home Affairs.
The changes also do not affect the Subclass 887 Skilled (Regional) visa permanent residence visa pathway, which continues to be available to eligible subclass 489 visa holders.
These changes only affect the Direct Entry visa stream under the subclass 187 visa programme. Applications remain open to eligible Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) and Subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa holders under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRTS).
For further information about these changes, please see the following articles:
Skill Select Invitation Round – 11 August 2019
The results for the latest Skill Select invitation round, which took place on 11 August 2019, have been released for points-tested skilled visas. A summary of this data is set out below. Results have also been published for points-tested business visas, links to which are provided below in this article.
Total invitations issued
The data in the table below shows the number of invitations issued in the first two monthly rounds of the 2019/20 migration programme year, as well as the total number of invitations issued so far this year.
Total issued in 2019/20
Skilled – Independent (subclass 189)
Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) (Family Sponsored) visa
The information noted in the above table for the subclass 489 visa is for the family-sponsored stream only. It does not include nominations approved by State and Territory Governments. State Sponsorship invitations, which are issued separately by each State and Territory, are provided further below in this article. The same applies to invitations for the Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190) visa, which too are administered separately to the above.
The number of invitations issued for the Subclass 189 visa have decreased compared with the previous month. This sees a return to April – June 2019 levels with only 100 invitations issued for the month, after experiencing a boost to 1000 invitations in July 2019.
Subclass 489 visa invitations have remained unchanged compared with the July 2019 round, a welcome development having previously remained at 10 invitations issued per month since November 2017.
Points score cut-offs
The below minimum point scores were required to secure an invitation in this latest round (applicants are ranked in order of points score, from highest to lowest).
Minimum points score
Date of effect (last invited applicant)
Skilled – Independent (subclass 189)
1st August 2019
Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa*
21st January 2019
*This information is for the family-sponsored stream only. Nominations are issued separately by State and Territory Governments throughout the month. See further below for the July 2019 results.
How to interpret this data?
The ‘Date of effect’ is the last date when applicants who received an invitation in this latest round submitted their Expression of Interest (EOI). The data shows that the last date for subclass 189 visa EOI applicants must have submitted their EOI to receive an invitation in the August 2019 round was 1st August 2019. It also shows that the minimum points score has increased by 5 points compared with the July 2019 invitation round. The wait time to receive an invitation has decreased from approximately 8 weeks to only 10 days.
For Subclass 489 visa EOI applicants, the last date to submit their EOI in this latest round was 21st January 2019. The minimum points score of 80 has remained the same compared with the previous invitation round. The wait time to receive an invitation has increased compared with the July 2019 round, rising from approximately 27 to 29 weeks.
The minimum points scores that both subclass 189 and 489 EOI applicants were required to achieve to receive an invitation in the August 2019 round was significantly higher than the minimum 65 points needed to validly lodge an EOI.
Invitations issued in this latest round based on points score are as follows.
Points score for invited applicants
Number of invitations issued for the subclass 189 visa
Number of invitations issued for the subclass 489 visa*
*This information applies to the family-sponsored stream only.
Invitations issued to subclass 189 EOI applicants decreased in all bands compared with the previous month, which is to be expected given the substantial reduction in total invitations issued in August 2019. There was also one invitation issued in the 105 points score band. Compare this with the July 2019 round, where the highest band score for which invitations were issued was 95 points. The largest number of invitations were issued to applicants who scored 85 points this month, whereas last month, most invitations were issued in the 80 points score band (775 put of a total of 1,000 overall invitations).
For subclass 489 visa EOI applicants, invitations fell in the 80 and 85 points score bands and rose in the 90 points band. As with the previous month, the bulk of invitations issued in August 2019 was in the 85 points score band.
Invitations issued for the most in-demand skilled occupations are set out in the below table. These are pro-rated to ensure availability of places throughout the year (which results in a more even spread). For these occupations, invitations are allocated to subclass 189 visa EOI applicants first, with any remaining places available to subclass 489 visa EOI applicants. State and Territory Nominated, Employer Sponsored and Business Visas operate outside of these occupation ceilings.
Occupation (ANZSCO code)
Minimum points score required in the August 2019 invitation round
Date of effect
Invitations issued to 11th August 2019
Occupation ceiling for the 2019/20 year (maximum number of invitations available)
20th July 2019
Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers (2212)
11th March 2019
Electronics Engineer (2334)
15th July 2019
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers (2335)
31st July 2019
Other Engineering Professionals (2339)
7th August 2019
ICT Business and System Analysts (2611)
30th July 2019
Software and Applications Programmers (2613)
31st July 2019
Computer Network Professionals (2631)
14th July 2019
How to interpret this data?
What does this information mean? To explain, we take as an example the nominated occupation category of Other Engineering Professionals (ANZSCO code 2339). The information in the table shows that a minimum of 90 points was required for applicants who submitted their EOI by 7th August 2019 to receive an invitation in the August 2019 round. It also shows that there are 1,000 places overall to be allocated for this occupation category in the current migration programme year. Of these, 35 invitations have already been issued across the months of July and August 2019, with 965 place remaining to be allocated for the rest of the year.
For data on occupation ceilings and the total number of invitations issued for each nominated occupation category (including for non-pro-rated occupations) up to 11th August 2019, please refer to the below link:
The minimum points scores needed to receive an invitation in the August 2019 round increased for all the above occupation categories compared with the July 2019 round, apart from ANZSCO codes 2212 and 2631, which remained unchanged. Occupations that experienced an increase rose by 5 points each, with only ANZSCO code 2339 rising by 10 points.
The wait times to receive an invitation have decreased for all pro-rated occupation categories, except for ANZSCO code 2212, which rose from approximately 4 to 5 months. The most substantial fall in wait time was for ANZSCO code 2211, which decreased from 8 months to 3 weeks. ANZSCO code 2339 also saw a large reduction, falling from approximately 14 ½ weeks to just 4 days. The wait times for the remaining occupations decreased within an approximate 1 to 3-month range.
Movement in wait times can largely be explained by the change in points score, where we generally expect to see a fall in wait time when the points score required to receive an invitation increases. To explain, as the points score for a given occupation rises, it would be reasonable to assume that there would be a lower number of applicants eligible to receive an invitation. Whereas when the minimum points score cut-off decreases, you would expect there to be a larger pool of potential applicants who meet the lower minimum points score, and who have submitted their EOI earlier. EOI’s remain in the Department’s system for 2 years. Thus, in theory, invitations could potentially be issued to EOI applicants going as far back as August 2017.
What does this information tell us?
The fall in invitations issued to subclass 189 visa EOI applicants is most likely explained by a combination of factors, the most important of which is the Government’s increasing focus on encouraging migrants to settle in regional Australia. Subclass 189 visa applicants are not required to live and work in regional Australia for the visa to be granted. Reduced quotas have been set for the subclass 189 in the 2019/20 migration programme year, falling significantly from 43,990 places in 2018/19 to 18,652 in the current year. With fewer places available to be allocated for the year, we would expect there to be less invitations issued each month (and to accommodate this, an accompanying rise in the points score cut-off).
This increasing push towards regional settlement is also reflected in the soon-to-be introduced Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Subclass 494 visa and the Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa, both of which will provide a pathway to permanent residence in Australia after 3 years. For further information on these new options (which commence on 16th November 2019), please see our guides on the New Skilled Regional Visas to be introduced and Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa.
State and Territory Government nominations
Invitations issued by State and Territory Governments for the subclass 489 and 190 visa programmes in July 2019 are set out below.
Subclass 190 visa
Subclass 489 visa
Most jurisdictions experienced a decrease in nominations issued in July 2019 compared with the previous month, many quite substantially. Only New South Wales (NSW), South Australia (SA) and Tasmania (TAS) saw the opposite trend, both rising in July 2019.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) saw a fall of 65% in invitations issued for the subclass 190 visa compared with the previous month. Subclass 489 invitations remained at nil as with June 2019.
The Northern Territory (NT) experienced a significant reduction in overall invitations issued for the month, falling 94%. The same can be said for Queensland (QLD), which also saw a substantial decrease, from 116 invitations issued in June 2019 to less than 5 in July.
In Western Australia (WA), the reduction in total invitations issued during the month as compared with June 2019 was 30%.
In Victoria (VIC), there was also a substantial decrease, from 392 overall nomination in the previous month, to less than 61 in July 2019.
Tasmania (TAS) experienced an increase in nominations issued compared with the previous month, rising by 93% overall.
In NSW, there was a substantial increase in nominations for the subclass 489 visa, more than doubling compared with the previous month. Subclass 190 invitations rose only marginally.
In SA, nominations rose for both 190 and 489 nominations, with an overall increase of 23% nominations issued for the month compared with June 2019.
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 has also be released and can be accessed at the following link:
PAX Migration Alert
If you would like to apply for the subclass 489 visa, you need to act now as applications will close soon. Applications for nomination in South Australia have now closed. Other States remain open until 10 September 2019. Contact us today to get started.
Please refer to our article titled ‘Skillselect Invitation round August 2018’ for further information about the EOI process: https://paxmigration.com.au/skillselect-invitation-round-july-2018/
You can also find our article summarising the July 2019 invitation results at the following link: