We review Skill Select of 2017, explain the reasons for it being a challenge and summarize a few strategies to boost the chance of success for the candidates.
Skilled Independent 189 Visa: Major facts
Skilled Independent 189 Visa does not need a sponsorship/nomination by an employer, or of the state/territory government or of a family member.
The applicants must first submit an Expression of Interest using Skill Select and await the invitation to apply. The rounds for Invitation are held every two weeks and applicants with the top score in the points test for General Skilled Migration get an invitation to apply.
The nominated occupation must be present on the list of the Independent/Family Sponsored Occupations List and the number of Expression of Interest for each occupation is made known at the commencement of the program year starting on 1st July.
Occupations like Engineering, IT, and Accounting are popular and receive more EOIs than the ceiling and are called pro rata occupations. The invitations available are limited and require high points and more waiting times.
Non-pro rata invitations
In the last, the points needed for a 189 Visa invitation for non-pro rata occupations were enhanced to 65/70 points instead of 60 points
In the program year so far 2,896 non-pro rata invitations were issued for the189 and 489 Visas, when compared to 4,421 in the same period in 2017. The reduced available places make the process of invitation very competitive for these occupations.
Pro rata invitations
The invitations which were issued for pro rata occupations were reduced from 7,600 in 2016-17 to 7,479 in the same period in the present year
In the present year, there was an overall increase of 3,362 places in occupation ceilings for pro rata occupations.
|Pro rata occupation||2016-17||2017-18||Change||% Change|
|Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers||1,413||1,327||-86||-6%|
|Computer Network Professionals||1,426||1,318||-108||-8%|
|ICT Business and Systems Analysts||1,482||1,574||92||6%|
|Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers||1,539||2,178||639||42%|
|Other Engineering Professionals||1,000||1,000||0||0%|
|Software and Applications Programmers||5,662||6,202||540||10%|
Points scores are higher
Compared with last year, there has been an increase in EOIs with higher point’s scores. In the 18th October 2017 round, 900 invitations were issued to applicants who scored 70 points or higher and 525 invitations were issued to applicants who scored 75 points or higher.
For this situation, several issues were involved
1. Applicants claimed extra points from a range of sources
Applicants claimed extra points from other sources like:
- Spouse skills–when a partner/spouse meets the English language requirement and passes skills assessment, 5 points are scored.
- NAATI Accreditation as an Interpreter or Translator– when a candidate passes a National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters exam he/she can claim 5 more points, and;
- Professional year option is given to the candidates who complete studies in IT, accountancy, and engineering in Australia.
2. Applicants claimed extra points for ability in the English language
This is the main reason for the increase in points. Many applicants take recognized tests and gain additional points for the better ability of English language.
3. Applicants file more than one Expression of Interest
An EOI can be filed for free and applicants can file any number of applications.
4. Some applicants over-claim points when they file an EOI
Applicants over-claim their points when they file their Expression of Interest for many occupations.
Steps for applicants to boost their chances:
Skill Select has become more competitive today. The applicants must submit the highest points score.
- Quality English will increase the chance of invitation for many jobs.
- Try to claim points from all sources, like skills of spouses, NAATI accreditation or completing a professional year.
- State nominated 190 and 489 Visas do not have occupational ceilings and 60 points help to qualify.