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Skilled visas – Increase in points pass mark

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From 1 July 2018, there will be an increase in the pass mark for a variety of skilled visas. Skilled Independent (Permanent) (Class SI) Subclass 189, Skilled Nominated (Permanent) (Class SN) Subclass 190; and Skilled Regional Sponsored (Provisional) (Class SP) Subclass 489 applicants wishing to apply for those visas will be required to obtain a pass mark of 65 to be eligible to receive an invitation to apply. This is 5 points higher than previously required.

This new pass mark reflects the high level of interest in skilled migration to Australia and indicates the high caliber of applicants interested in the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program.

Under the transitional arrangements, the pool and pass mark from the previous instrument is preserved for all visa applications for the above visas made before, on or after 1 July 2018 in response to an invitation given by the Minister before 1 July 2018.

Potential applicants must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect which includes information about their skills and other relevant information. SkillSelect is the one who then issues invitations to apply to migrate based upon a ranking of the skills etc of the applicants. SkillSelect also enables State and Territory government agencies and Australian employers to view relevant information in an applicant’s EOI. It enables them to identify persons who they may nominate to help meet labour market needs in their respective jurisdictions. Similarly, SkillSelect assists employers to identify skilled workers in circumstances where vacancies are unable to be met through the Australian labour market.

SkillSelect is a three-stage process:

  1. details of their qualifications, experience, English language ability and other information in their EOI are submitted;
  2. those applicants who are sufficiently highly ranked will be invited by the Minister to make a visa application or may be nominated or sponsored by an Australian employer
  3. applicants then make a visa application which is assessed and granted if all the relevant criteria are met.

The Minister has determined that invitations should not be issued if the occupation ceiling has been reached for any occupation. GSM categories of the skilled migration program deliver a wide variety of occupations which are in need in the medium to long term in the Australian labour market. This mechanism is known as the occupation ceiling.

The occupation ceiling limits how many persons are invited to apply for a skilled independent, skilled regional sponsored and State/Territory government nominated GSM skilled visa from a particular occupation group (as per the 4 digit ANZSCO occupation group). Its purpose is to prevent the skilled migration program from being over-supplied by a narrow range of occupations. Once the annual occupation ceiling for a unit group is reached there will be no further invitations issued for skilled migration from this unit group

Invitation rounds regularly through each migration year.

Should you have any questions regarding skilled visas, please contact our team of Registered Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers today. Alternatively, if you would like to book a consultation with our team to discuss applying for skilled visas, please email or call our team on (07) 3035 4045.


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