Update:

Please be aware that as of 16 November 2019, the Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa has been replaced by a new Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa. The Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa has also been replaced by a new Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa.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:

New Skilled Regional Visas to be introduced

Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa

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


Skill Select Invitation Round – 11 July 2019

The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) has released the results for the latest Skill Select invitation round which took place on 11th July 2019. This is the first monthly round of the 2019/20 migration programme year.

Results have been published for the below skilled visas (all of which are points-based):

  • Skilled – Independent (subclass 189) visa;
  • Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190) visa; and
  • Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) (Family Sponsored) visa.

We provide a summary of these results below.

Date on nomination approvals for State and Territory nominations under the Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) (State Sponsored) visa programme as well as for the following business visas have also been released (see further below in this article for relevant links):

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

Total invitations issued

The data in the table below shows the number of invitations issued in the first monthly round of the 2019/20 migration programme year.

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

1,000

Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) (Family Sponsored) visa

100

100

Total

1,100

1,100

The data above for the subclass 489 visa is for the family-sponsored stream only. It does not include nomination approvals made by State and Territory Governments. The latest monthly results for State Sponsorship invitations, which are issued by each State and Territory separately, are provided later in this article.

The above data demonstrates that the number of invitations issued for both the subclass 189 and 489 visas have increased compared with the previous round in June 2019. For subclass 189 visa Expression of Interest (EOI) applicants, this is the first rise in invitations issued since experiencing a reduction to 100 being issued in the April 2019 round (and which had continued to be the case into the May and June 2019 invitation rounds).

Invitations issued to subclass 489 visa EOI applicants have also brought a much-welcomed increase from 10 monthly invitations across the entire 2018/19 migration programme year (which resulted in total invitations issued for that year reaching a maximum number of 120). This rise in invitations issued has reversed a trend which commenced in November 2017, and now thereby provides a greater opportunity for potential applicants to receive an invitation.

Points score cut-offs

EOI applicants need to achieve the following minimum point scores to receive an invitation in the 11 July 2019 round (with applicants ranked in order of points score, from highest to lowest).

Visa subclass

Minimum points score

Date of effect (last invited applicant)

Skilled – Independent (subclass 189)

80

13th May 2019

Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa*

80

5th January 2019


*This data is for the family-sponsored stream only. State and Territory Sponsored invitations are issued throughout the month separately. The monthly results for June 2019 and are set out further below in this article).

How to interpret this data?

The ‘Date of effect’ is the last date when invited applicants achieved their points score in the July 2019 invitation round (the date their EOI was submitted). This information shows that for subclass 189 visa EOI applicants who submitted their EOI by 13th May 2019, and who scored a minimum of 80 points, were issued an invitation in this latest round. This minimum points-test score has decreased by 5 points compared with the previous invitation round in June 2019. The wait time to receive an invitation has increased from one day before the June 2019 round took place in the previous round, to approximately 8 weeks in the latest round results.

Subclass 489 visa EOI applicants who achieved a minimum points test score of 80, and who submitted their EOI by 5th January 2019, received an invitation in the July 2019 round. This minimum points score has decreased by 10 points compared with the June 2019 round. This is a substantial reduction in the cut-off score, with the trend for points score movements normally not moving by more than 5 points either way. It also reverses the trend which saw two consecutive points score increases in May and June 2019. There has, however, been an accompanying increase to the wait time to receive an invitation compared with the previous round, rising from approximately 1 week to 27 weeks in the June 2019 round.

This data also shows that the minimum points score that both subclass 189 and 489 EOI applicants needed to achieve to receive an invitation in the latest round was significantly higher than the minimum 65 points required to validly lodge an EOI (although this has fallen compared with recent months, where the difference was greater).

Invitations issued in the 11th July 2019 round based on points score 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 489 visa*

80

775

25

85

130

65

90

80

9

95

15

1

Total

1,000

100


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

Invitations issued to subclass 189 EOI applicants increased in all bands except for the highest score of 95 compared with the previous month. This sees a reversal of the trend which saw a gradual rise in the points required to secure an invitation. The bulk of invitations issued in July were in the lowest band score of 80 (accounting for 78% of invitations issued for the month), a score which is below last month’s cut-off and which therefore received no invitations in that month. The highest points score in June 2019 was 95, a decrease from the previous month where one invitation was issued in the 105 points score band (for which no invitations were issued in this latest round).

For the subclass 489 visa, invitations were spread across the 80, 85, 90 and 95 band scores, a change from the previous invitation round where all invitations were issued to applicants who scored 90 points. Most invitations in July 2019 were issued in the 85 points score band (which accounted for 65% of overall invitations issued for the month). This score is below last month’s cut-off and therefore received no invitations in that month. As with the subclass 189 visa, this sees a reversal of the trend which previously saw a rise in points required for applicants to secure an invitation for the subclass 489 visa.

The reduction in scores required in this latest round are likely to have resulted, at least in part, due to the substantial increase in invitations issued compared with the previous round. More invitations mean a greater spread of points scores and more opportunities for potential applicants to secure an invitation, especially with points scores at the lower end of the cut-off.

What does this data mean for potential applicants?

These figures can (and do) change each month. A good example of this is the reversal we have seen compared with the last invitation round, with a substantially larger number of invitations issued for both the subclass 189 and 489 visa with lower minimum scores required. Indeed, more invitations were issued in the lower points score bands in July 2019 compared with the previous round. It is therefore difficult to predict from month-to-month what the position will be. Despite the positive results we have seen in this latest round, the basic fact remains that potential applicants should still aim towards the highest points score that they are able to achieve, which is more likely to improve their chances of receiving an invitation, especially when the Department reduces the number of invitations that it issues (as we have seen occur in recent invitation rounds). Guard yourself against this uncertainty by exploring how you can improve your points score.

Applicants may also consider other potential visa options, which might offer better opportunities for achieving their migration goals, depending on their personal circumstances. This is especially so given that reduced quotas have been set for the subclass 189 and 489 visas in the 2019/20 migration programme year. One example might be applying for a State or Territory nominated subclass 489 visa, which requires applicants to achieve a significantly lower score of 65 points to be considered (applications are often assessed based on a range of different factors apart from the points score, including work experience and English language competency).

A new option will also be available from 16th November 2019, with the introduction of a new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Subclass 494 visa and a Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa, both of which will provide a pathway to permanent residence in Australia. Further information is provided in our guides on the New Skilled Regional Visas to be introduced and Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa. Another potential option is an employer nominated visa (although this too has seen a reduced quota in the current migration programme year).

Occupations

Data for the most popular skilled occupations are set out in the table below. Invitations for these occupations are pro-rated to ensure that places are available throughout the year. Invitations for these occupations are first allocated to subclass 189 visa EOI applicants, with any remaining places being allocated to subclass 489 visa EOI applicants. Occupation ceilings do not apply to State and Territory nominated, Employer sponsored or business visas.

Occupation (ANZSCO code)

Minimum points score required in the July 2019 invitation round

Date of effect

Invitations issued to 11th July 2019

Occupation ceiling for the 2019/20 year (maximum number of invitations available)

Accountants (2211)

85

14th December 2018

83

2,746

Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers (2212)

85

9th March 2019

47

1,552

Electronics Engineer (2334)

80

5th May 2019

30

1,000

Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers (2335)

80

10th May 2019

49

1,600

Other Engineering Professionals (2339)

80

1st April 2019

30

1,000

ICT Business and System Analysts (2611)

80

12th April 2019

79

2,587

Software and Applications Programmers (2613)

80

13th May 2019

265

8,748

Computer Network Professionals (2631)

80

13th May 2019

77

2,553

How to interpret this data?

To help you to understand what the above data means, as an example, please refer to the nominated occupation category of Computer Network Professionals (2631). The table shows that applicants who achieved a minimum score of 80 points and who submitted their EOI by 13th May 2019, received an invitation in the latest round. It also demonstrates that there are 2,553 available places for this occupation category overall in the 2019/20 migration programme year, of which 77 had been filled as of 11th July 2019. This leaves 2,476 places yet to be issued in the remaining 11 rounds of the current migration year.

You can see data on occupation ceilings and the total number of invitations issued for each nominated occupation category (including those which are not pro-rated) up until 11th July 2019 at the following link:

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

The minimum points scores required to secure an invitation in the current round have decreased for all the above pro-rated occupation categories compared with the previous month. There was a 10-point reduction for the occupations with ANZSCO codes 2211 and 2334. The remainder saw a 5-point reduction in this latest round.

The data also shows changes in the occupation ceilings in this new migration programme year, with occupations with ANZSCO codes 2211 and 2335 experiencing a reduction in available places for the year, and the remainder with a higher quota.

The wait times to receive an invitation have increased as a result of the fall in minimum points scores this month. The most significant change has been for ANZSCO codes 2211 (which saw a rise in wait time from approximately 1 day to 30 weeks), 2212 (which increased from 2 weeks to now being approximately 18 weeks), 2339 (which rose from 3 weeks to 14 weeks) and 2611 (from 5 to 13 weeks). All other pro-rated occupations moved upwards by approximately a few weeks to a month. This increase in wait times is to be expected, given that minimum points scores have decreased, which means applicants with lower scores who lodged their EOI earlier received an invitation in this latest round. As points scores rise, the Department ‘gets through the pile quicker’ as less applicants are eligible to receive an invitation. In contrast, as the minimum points score cut-off falls, there is a greater pool of potential applicants who meet the lower minimum points score, and who have submitted their EOI earlier.

State and Territory Government nominations

Invitations issued by State and Territory Governments for the subclass 489 and 190 visa programmes in June 2019 are set out below.

Visa subclass

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Total

Subclass 190 visa

393

22

34

101

116

79

375

64

1,184

Subclass 489 visa

0

58

47

15

143

112

17

3

395

Total

393

80

81

116

259

191

392

67

1,579

There were some significant changes, both up and down, in nominations issued in June 2019 in several States and Territories. All jurisdictions saw an increase in nominations issued for the month, which was mainly for subclass 190 nominations. Only in New South Wales (NSW) and Tasmania (TAS) did the figure go down quite considerably.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Northern Territory (NT), Victoria (VIC), Western Australia (WA), Queensland (QLD) and South Australia (SA) all experienced increases in nominations issued for the month.

In the ACT, nominations for the subclass 190 visa more than doubled in June 2019 (subclass 489 nominations remained the same at nil). In the NT, overall nominations increased by 76%, the bulk of the rise accounted for by subclass 190 visa nominations. VIC and WA also both increased for the month, rising by 238% in VIC and more than doubling in WA in overall nominations issued in June (again, the rise in both states was mostly attributable to subclass 190 nominations). QLD and SA also increased, but by a smaller amount, the number of overall nominations. As with the other states and territories noted above, most of this rise was attributed to subclass 190 nominations.

In NSW, there was a marked decrease in subclass 190 nominations which were issued for the month, which fell by approximately 97% compared with May 2019. There was also a fall in the number of subclass 489 nominations in June, but this was less significant. In TAS, the fall in nominations was smaller, with a decrease of 31% in overall nominations. Most of this reduction was for subclass 489 nominations, whilst there was a minor increase in subclass 190 nominations for the month.

Total invitations issued by State and Territory Governments from 1st July 2018 to 30th June 2019 are listed below.

Visa subclass

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Total

Subclass 190 visa

1,172

3,594

302

1,190

1,016

760

2,956

281

11,271

Subclass 489 visa

0

1,640

350

510

2,167

1,309

79

24

6,079

Total

1,172

5,234

652

1,700

3,183

2,069

3,035

305

17,350

With June 2019 being the final month of the 2018/19 migration programme year, July 2019 will be the first for the new 2019/20 migration year.

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:

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

Further Information

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 June 2019 invitation results at the following link:

https://paxmigration.com.au/skill-select-invitation-round-11-june-2019/

Sources/Links:

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

https://paxmigration.com.au/skill-select-invitation-round-11-june-2019/

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://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/reports-and-pubs/files/discussion-paper-australias-2019-20-migration.pdf

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

https://paxmigration.com.au/skilled-regional-visas/

https://paxmigration.com.au/skilled-regional-sponsored-visa/