Skilled visa applicants across Australia may face a longer wait to be invited by the Government to apply for a Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa, due to a reduction in the number of invites being issued. The Subclass 189 Visa is highly sought by skilled migrants because it provides permanent residence without the need for employer sponsorship. However, the visa process is very competitive as migrants must first meet several points-tested requirements to receive an invitation by the Government before applying for the visa.
Recently, the process has become even more competitive as the number of invitations issued by the Department of Home Affairs have tapered. In October and November 2018, the Department issued 4,340 invites per month, and this dropped by almost 50% to 2,490 invites per month in December 2018 and January 2019. In February and March, this figure dropped further to 1,490 invites and finally, in April only 100 skilled migrants received an invite Australia-wide.
Higher points required for a Subclass 189 Visa
You will also notice below that only applicants with 80 points or more received an invitation in April. This is a considerably high number of points to receive an invitation, given that the actual pass mark has been set at 65 points since 1 July 2018. As per our previous article, invitation round trends indicate migrants are often required to score higher points than the pass mark to qualify for an invitation.
It is increasingly important for skilled migrants to claim the maximum number of points available to them, especially as less invitations are currently being issued. Changes to the points test system in November 2019 could soon provide opportunities for migrants to claim more points for living and working in regional areas, among other circumstances.
Occupations with typically high competition for a Subclass 189 Visa
According to the Department of Home Affairs, a consistently high number of people with the below occupations lodge an Expression of Interest for a Subclass 189 Visa. This has resulted in increased levels of competition to receive an invitation for these occupations. Migrants who are skilled and qualified in the below occupations must therefore achieve a very high points score to qualify for an invitation.
How many Subclass 189 Visas will be granted in 2019/20?
As you can see below, migration outcome statistics show 39,137 Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visas were granted in 2017-18, however only 18,652 placements have been planned for 2019-20. This is a significant drop of almost 50% in the number of independent skilled visas that enable visa holders to live and work anywhere in Australia.
It appears the Government will make up for the shortfall in its allocations for regional skilled visas to distribute Australia’s migration intake more evenly. New regional skilled visas will be established in November, which will be provisional and require migrants to live and work in regional areas for three years before becoming eligible to apply for permanent residence.
*The Department of Home Affairs’ 2018-19 statistics are not yet available.
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The process to correctly claim points to qualify for a Subclass 189 invitation can be complex. Migrants must be able to validate claimed points with substantial levels of supporting evidence. Our team of Registered Migration Agents can assist with identifying how you may be able to maximise your points. To find out if you are eligible for an Australian skilled visa, simply contact us on +61 8 9221 3388 (or National Free Call 1800 449 858) or [email protected]