SkillSelect Update September 2015

The Report on the September SkillSelect Invitation Round has been released by the Department of Immigration and we provide an overview of some key changes and insights below.

Places filled in September Round

The occupation ceiling for Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers has now been reached for the 2015-16 financial year. There will be no more places available for external auditors or internal auditors for the 189 skilled independent visa or 489 family sponsored visas until 1 July 2016.

The number of invitations issued to accountants was low in the September round – only 20 places offered. The minimum points score to receive an invitation in the accountant occupational group was 70 in this round. The Department has not provided a reason for the low number of invitations issued. Given the low occupational ceiling for this group and the high number of Expressions of Interest (EOIs),  we expect the minimum score for an invitation to be 65 for the rest of the 2015-2016 immigration year.

Places continue to be made available for ICT Business and Systems Analyst occupation group on a pro rata basis.  The minimum points score to receive an invitation in this occupation group was 65 in the September round.

Recommendations for accountants

We recommend that applicants in the accountant occupation group ensure they claim as many points as possible to improve their chances of receiving an invitation. Some strategies you could consider to increase your point score include:

  • Improve your English language competency score
  • Complete a Professional Year Program
  • Claim points for spouse skills
  • Complete the NAATI test for translators and interpreters

Changes to Invitation Rounds

From October 2015, there will be two invitation rounds each month – the first and third Friday of each month.  This introduction of an additional invitation round each month may result in shorter waiting times to receive a SkillsSelect invitation for 189 and 489 visas.

State Nominated Visas

A reminder that the occupational ceiling does not apply to state nominated visas (ie 190 and 489 state sponsored). It is still possible to apply for these visas.

Update on Old System 175, 176 and 475 visas

People who have applied for 175, 176 and 475 visas will have their applications “capped and ceased” effective 22 September 2015. These applicants will receive a refund of their application fees, but their applications will void meaning that they will be taken as never having been made (even if the applicant was eligible for the visa at the time they applied).  Most 175 Skilled Independent applications have already been allocated and granted, this change mainly affects applicants sponsored by family members. The changes highlight the policy of the current government to limit the number of family sponsored migrants.

Next Steps

The General Skilled Migration program is complex and changes rapidly. An Expression of Interest application should be checked against the current program settings prior to lodgment on SkillsSelect to ensure the best chance of success.

If you would like assistance in making your application, please contact us on (02) 8896 6056 or email info@themigrationagency.com.au to arrange to speak to an experienced migration expert.

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