The Department of Immigration has released the occupational ceilings for the 2015-16 financial year.
Which visa subclasses are affected?
The occupational ceilings apply to Skilled Independent Subclass 189 and Family Sponsored Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visas.
Occupational ceilings do not apply to, State or Territory Nominated, Employer Sponsored or Business Innovation and Investment visa subclasses.
Who will be impacted by the changes?
The occupation ceilings for the 2015-16 financial year have been reduced for accountants and auditors by up to 50% – 2,525 places are available for Accountants in 2015-16 compared to 5,478 in 2014-15. The effect of this reduction is yet to be seen, but could significantly affect the prospects of success for many applicants with minimum points scores or who apply later in the immigration year.
For IT professionals, the occupation ceiling for ICT Business and Systems Analysts has been reduced slightly such that in 2015-16 there are fewer places available (1,536) than there were invitations issued in 2014-15 (1,620) which suggests that demand will outweigh available places. The ceiling for Software and Applications Programmers and Computer Network Professionals has increased from 5,005 places in 2014-15 to 5,364 places in 2015-16, with the result that overall slightly more places are available to IT professionals.
Most other occupations will be unaffected by the changes.
What does this mean for me?
To maximise your chances of success for a Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa or a Family Sponsored Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa, we recommend the following:
- Lodge your Expression of Interest as early as possible in the immigration year, as invitations are issued on a first-come first-served basis.
- Aim to maximise your points score prior to EOI lodgement, as invitations are issued to applicants with the highest points score first.
- Consider the Skilled Occupation List and whether another occupation code culd be suitable for your skills and experience.
- Be vigilant with your EOI application – a small mistake at this stage can cost you your place in the queue and potentially cost you the opportunity of re-applying for another visa. An immigration professional can help you avoid the EOI traps.
What are the occupation ceilings for 2015-16?
The table below shows the occupation ceilings for the 2015-2016 programme year for each occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) by four-digit ANZSCO code unit group.
|1341||Child Care Centre Managers||1000|
|1342||Health and Welfare Services Managers||1410|
|2212||Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers||1000|
|2241||Actuaries, Mathematicians and Statisticians||1000|
|2245||Land Economists and Valuers||1000|
|2312||Marine Transport Professionals||1000|
|2321||Architects and Landscape Architects||1650|
|2322||Cartographers and Surveyors||1000|
|2331||Chemical and Materials Engineers||1000|
|2332||Civil Engineering Professionals||2970|
|2335||Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers||1788|
|2339||Other Engineering Professionals||1000|
|2341||Agricultural and Forestry Scientists||1000|
|2346||Medical Laboratory Scientists||1362|
|2349||Other Natural and Physical Science Professionals||1000|
|2411||Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teachers||1980|
|2414||Secondary School Teachers||8352|
|2415||Special Education Teachers||1158|
|2512||Medical Imaging Professionals||1092|
|2513||Occupational and Environmental Health Professionals||1578|
|2514||Optometrists and Orthoptists||1000|
|2521||Chiropractors and Osteopaths||1000|
|2527||Speech Professionals and Audiologists||1000|
|2531||General Practitioners and Resident Medical officers||3558|
|2533||Internal Medicine Specialists||1000|
|2539||Other Medical Practitioners||1000|
|2611||ICT Business and Systems Analysts||1536|
|2613||Software and Applications Programmers||5364|
|2631||Computer Network Professionals||1986|
|2633||Telecommunications Engineering Professionals||1000|
|3122||Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians||1000|
|3123||Electrical Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians||1000|
|3132||Telecommunications Technical Specialists||1000|
|3222||Sheetmetal Trades Workers||1000|
|3223||Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers||4416|
|3232||Metal Fitters and Machinists||8070|
|3233||Precision Metal Trades Workers||1000|
|3311||Bricklayers and Stonemasons||1656|
|3312||Carpenters and Joiners||7290|
|3322||Painting Trades Workers||2802|
|3334||Wall and Floor Tilers||1284|
|3421||Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics||1038|
|3422||Electrical Distribution Trades Workers||1000|
|3423||Electronics Trades Workers||2076|
|3991||Boat Builders and Shipwrights||1000|
|4112||Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists||1000|