7 Jun 2019

Independent Skilled Migration to get more competitive in 2019/20

The Government has confirmed less invitations will be issued to skilled migrants for a General Skilled Migration visa in 2019-20. It is a trend we have already begun to notice in recent invitation round figures. In April 2019, only 100 invitations were issued for a Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa across Australia – this was the lowest amount offered in 2018-19. This again occurred in May’s round of invitations when only 100 invitations were issued.

Why are less invitations being issued for a Subclass 189 Visa? | Skillselect Australia

It seems we will continue to see invitations plateau over coming months to align with the Government’s migration program planning levels for 2019/20. The Department of Home Affairs recently informed the Migration Institute of Australia that invitations will be provided at a reduced rate for the rest of the 2018-19 financial year saying,

“As we have held a steady high rate of Skilled Independent (subclass 189) invitations in the first three quarters of the 2018-19 Migration Program year, we now have a solid pipeline to take us through to the end of this program year and enter into the 2019-20 program year.

Immigracious Insights | What this means for skilled migrants

While 39,137 Skilled Independent Visas were granted in 2017-18, only 18,652 placements are planned for 2019-20. This is a significant drop of almost 50%.

It’s important to remember that the Skilled Independent category ceiling includes both the Subclass 189 New Zealand Stream and the Points-tested Stream. This means acceptances through the New Zealand stream will directly affect the remaining number of Points-tested visas available to skilled migrants.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, 4,820 Subclass 189 New Zealand Stream Visas were granted in 2017-18. This suggests 34,317 visas were granted through the Points-tested Stream. If the same number of New Zealand Stream Visas are granted in 2019/20, this would only leave 13,832 visas available through the Points-tested Stream.

We can therefore expect invitations will be issued at a significantly reduced rate per month in 2019-20. Invitations rounds could reach as low as 1,152 invitations per month if the Department were to evenly distribute invitations throughout the year.

As we saw in April and May 2019’s figures, less invitations result in greater competition among skilled migrants, which is seen in the higher minimum number of points to qualify. In April and May, skilled migrants had to achieve a minimum of 80 points to receive an invitation.

This sets a very high standard for skilled migrants, who realistically may need to achieve well above the actual pass mark of 65 points to receive an invitation.

With invitation numbers confirmed to drop in 2019/20, we encourage skilled migrants to claim the maximum number of points available to them. One way to maximise points is to live and work in regional areas. Changes will be introduced in November 2019 that will provide extra points to migrants who choose to live and work in regional areas.

It’s also important to note that although the ceiling has been reduced for Independent Skilled visas that allow migrants to live and work anywhere in Australia, 14,000 placements will become available through the new points-tested Skilled Work Regional Visa in 2019/20. Skilled migrants may wish to explore their options to live and work in regional areas as an alternative to the General Skilled Migration program, which is certainly becoming increasingly competitive.

Immigracious – How we can assist you

Correctly claiming 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. Immigracious can help you identify 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 08 6263 4406 or


Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents – MARN 0533879

Migration Institute of AustraliaTHT

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

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