The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) has published the results from the latest Skill Select invitation round (being the final round of the 2018/19 migration programme year) which took place on 11th June 2019. This data applies to the following points-tested skilled visas:

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

In this article, we provide a summary of these results.

State and Territory nomination approvals issued for the Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) (State Sponsored) visa and for following business visas have also been published (links are provided in this article):

  • 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 each monthly round of the 2018/19 migration programme year, and the total number of invitations issued for the year.

Visa subclass

July 2018

August 2018

September 2018

October 2018

November 2018

December 2018

January 2019

February 2019

March 2019

April

2019

May

2019

Jun

2019

Total issued in 2018/19

Skilled – Independent (subclass 189)

1,000

2,490

2,490

4,340

4,340

2,490

2,490

1,490

1,490

100

100

100

22,920

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

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

10

120

Total

1,010

2,500

2,500

4,350

4,350

2,500

2,500

1,500

1,500

110

110

110

23,040

The data in the table for the subclass 489 visa applies to the family-sponsored stream only. It does not include State and Territory Government nomination invitations (which are granted by each State and Territory under a separate process). The monthly results for State Sponsorship approvals are provided later in this article.

As the above results show, the number of invitations issued for both the subclass 189 and 489 visas have remained unchanged compared with the previous round in May 2019. The significant drop in subclass 189 visa invitations, which commenced in the April 2019 round (when they were reduced to 100) has been maintained in the current round.

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

Points score cut-offs

To receive an invitation in the 11th June 2019 round required Expression of Interest (EOI) applicants to achieve the minimum point scores as set out in the following table. The process for allocating invitations involves ranking EOI applicants in order of points score, with invitations first issued to those scoring the highest number of points.

Visa subclass

Minimum points score

Date of effect (last invited applicant)

Skilled – Independent (subclass 189)

85

10th June 2019

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

90

5th June 2019


*This data applies to the family-sponsored stream only. State and Territory Sponsored invitations are issued throughout each month under a separate process conducted by each State and Territory (results for the month of May 2019 and for the 2018/19 migration programme year to date are discussed further below in this article).

What does this data mean?

The ‘Date of effect’ is the last date when invited applicants achieved their points score in the June 2019 invitation round (i.e. being the date when they submitted their EOI). This data demonstrates that subclass 189 visa EOI applicants who submitted their EOI by 10th June 2019, and who received a score of at least 85 in the points test were issued an invitation in this latest round. This cut-off score has increased by 5 points compared with the previous invitation round. This has resulted in a reduced wait time to receive an invitation from approximately 7 weeks in the May 2019 round, to just one day before the June 2019 round took place in the current round.

Subclass 489 visa EOI applicants who achieved a score of at least 90 in the points test, and who submitted their EOI by 5th June 2019, were issued an invitation in the June 2019 round. This minimum points score has increased by 5 points compared with the May 2019 round. The wait time to receive an invitation also decreased by approximately 1 week. This increase in the minimum points score required to secure an invitation is now the second consecutive rise. When combined with the small number of invitations issued (only 120 in the 2018/19 migration year), securing an invitation by subclass 489 EOI applicants has now become even more competitive.

This data also demonstrates that the minimum points score that both subclass 189 and 489 EOI applicants needed to achieve to receive an invitation in the June 2019 round was significantly higher than the minimum 65 points that is required to validly lodge an EOI.

Invitations issued in the 11th June 2019 round based on points score are listed below.

Points score for invited applicants

Number of invitations issued for the subclass 189 visa

Number of invitations issued for the subclass 489 visa*

85

59

0

90

22

10

95

18

0

100

0

0

105

1

0

Total

100

10


*This data applies to the family-sponsored stream only.

Invitations issued to subclass 189 EOI applicants increased in the 85 and 95+ bands compared with the previous month. This reflects the trend of a gradual increase in points required to secure an invitation. We are now seeing scores of 100 and above entering the picture, which was previously not the case.

For the subclass 489 visa, all 10 invitations were issued to applicants who scored 90 points (in contrast, the previous May 2019 round saw all 10 invitations being issued to applicants with a score of 85 points). This again reflects the trend of a rise in points required for applicants to secure an invitation for a relatively few number of invitations in each round.

What does this data mean for potential applicants?

Keeping in mind that the figures change from month-to-month, making it difficult to predict with any certainty what the next move will be by the Department, the recent trend has been for a gradual increase in the points scores that are required to secure an invitation. Coupled with the fact that the number of invitations issued per round have been decreasing (or remaining at their current low levels), potential applicants would be advised to factor this into their own decisions regarding how best to proceed based on their personal circumstances

As the above data shows (in conjunction with recent invitation round results), applicants need to achieve a significantly high points score to have any chance of securing an invitation for both the subclass 189 and 489 visa. This may mean potentially considering other options, which may present better opportunities for applicants to achieve their migration goals (whether that be temporary or permanent residence in Australia). This might include a State or Territory nominated subclass 489 visa, which requires applicants to achieve only the minimum 65 points to be considered (with applications by each State and Territory being assessed based on predominantly other attributes apart from points score, such as employment experience, English language score, etc.).

It is also important to take note of the fact that migration planning levels have set a reduced quota for the subclass 189 visa, with a reduction from 43,990 in 2018/19, to 18,652 in the new 2019/20 migration programme year. For the State and Territory nominated subclass 489 visa, the reduction has been less substantial, falling from 28,850 in 2018/19, to a planning level of 24,968 in 2019/20. An employer nominated visa may be another potential option to consider (although the planning cap for 2019/20 has also been reduced). Applicants may also like to consider the new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Subclass 494 visa or Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 visa, both to be introduced from 16th November 2019 and which provide a pathway to permanent residence (23,000 places will be available in 2019/20). Please refer to our articles on the New Skilled Regional Visas to be introduced and Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa for further information about these options.

Occupations

Data for the most in-demand skilled occupations for the 2018/19 migration year 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 June 2019 invitation round

Date of effect

Invitations issued to 11th Jun 2019

Occupation ceiling for the 2018/19 year (maximum number of invitations available)

Accountants (2211)

95

10th June 2019

2,679

3,753

Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers (2212)

90

28th May 2019

957

1,342

Electronics Engineer (2334)

90

10th June 2019

214

300

Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers (2335)

85

20th May 2019

1,267

1,780

Other Engineering Professionals (2339)

85

23rd May 2019

502

700

ICT Business and System Analysts (2611)

85

10th May 2019

1,045

1,466

Software and Applications Programmers (2613)

85

7th June 2019

5,186

7,271

Computer Network Professionals (2631)

85

31st May 2019

1,518

2,167


What does this data mean?

To demonstrate how to interpret the information in the above table, we refer to the nominated occupation category of Accountants (2211). The data shows that applicants who achieved at least 95 points and who submitted their EOI by 10th June 2019, received an invitation in the 11th June 2019 round. It also shows that there were 3,753 places for this occupation category overall in the 2018/19 migration programme year, of which 2,679 had been filled as of 11th June 2019. With the June 2019 round marking the final invitation round of the 2018/19 year, new occupation ceilings will be applied in the next invitation round, which is due to take place on approximately the 11th of July 2019.

Please refer to the following link for occupation ceilings and the total number of invitations issued for each nominated occupation category (including those which are not pro-rated) up until 11th June 2019:

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

Compared with the May 2019 invitation round, the minimum points scores required to receive an invitation in the current round have increased by 5 points for all of the above pro-rated occupation categories, with the exception of ICT Business and System Analysts (2611), which remained unchanged at 85 points.

All the occupations which saw a rise in points score in June 2019 have resulted in a reduction in the wait time to secure an invitation in this latest round. The most marked changes affected ANZSCO codes 2212 (which decreased by approximately 4 months), 2339 (down by approximately 13 weeks) and 2613 (which saw a fall from 3 months to less than 1 week).

ANZSCO code 2611, being the only pro-rated occupation with no change in points required to secure an invitation in the June 2019 round, saw an increase in wait time by approximately 3 weeks.

For the remaining pro-rated occupation categories, changes in wait times have been relatively minor (moving by approximately a few weeks to about 1 month).

State and Territory Government nominations

Invitations issued by State and Territory Governments for the subclass 489 and 190 visa programmes in May 2019 are as follows.

Visa subclass

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Total

Subclass 190 visa

188

825

13

87

88

75

113

31

1,420

Subclass 489 visa

0

96

33

13

129

200

3

2

476

Total

188

921

46

100

217

275

116

33

1,896

Nominations issued in May 2019 to subclass 190 and 489 EOI applicants increased in all States and Territories, except for the Northern Territory (NT) and Victoria, as compared with April 2019.

In the NT, there was a small reduction in nominations issued compared with April 2019 (16%), whereas in VIC, the fall was more substantial, decreasing by 57% for the month (almost all of which was for subclass 190 nominations).

In the remaining States and Territories which saw increased nominations being issued in May 2019, most of these rises were substantial, with the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) more than doubling for the month (all were for subclass 190 nominations).

Issued invitations also doubled in New South Wales (NSW), almost all of which were for subclass 190 visa nominations. Queensland (QLD) saw the number of invitations issued for the month more than triple (again, most of the rise was for the subclass 190 visa).

South Australia (SA) and Tasmania (TAS) also saw substantial increases in nominations issued for the month, rising by 50% and 47% respectively (both subclass 190 and 489 nominations increased in these jurisdictions).

In Western Australia (WA), the increase was minor, with 3 more invitations issued for the subclass 190 visa as compared with the previous month.

Total invitations issued by State and Territory Governments from 1st July 2018 to 31st May 2019 are set out below.

Visa subclass

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Total

Subclass 190 visa

779

3,572

268

1,089

900

681

2,581

217

10,087

Subclass 489 visa

0

1,582

303

495

2,024

1,197

62

21

5,684

Total

779

5,154

571

1,584

2,924

1,878

2,643

238

15,771

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 May 2019 invitation results at the following link:

https://paxmigration.com.au/skill-select-invitation-round-9-may-2019/

Sources/Links:

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

https://paxmigration.com.au/skill-select-invitation-round-9-may-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/