General Skilled Migration Update - September 2017


SkillSelect results for the 20 September round have been released. For most occupations, the required score continues to decline. The required score for Accountants to receive an invitation has increased to 85 points. NSW has released its Priority Skilled Occupations List for 2017-18 and should soon start nominating applicants for the Skilled Nominated 190 visa. This article looks at the latest SkillSelect invitation round and at the NSW State Migration Plan for 2017-18. 20 September SkillSelect Invitation Round For non-pro rata occupations, the required score for a Skilled Independent Subclass 189 invitation remains at 65 points. However, waiting times with this score are now down to 1 week, so we expect the required score to drop to 60 points in the next invitation round. Most pro rata occupations remain stable, but the occupation of Accountant required 85 points in the last round, up from 75 points. The same number of invitations was issued in the 20 September round (239), so this result is very difficult to understand. We are currently seeking clarification from the Department of Immigration as it appears that there may be an error with the SkillSelect system. Occupation/Subclass Points Required Waiting Time Places Remaining % Filled Non Pro Rata         189 Skilled Independent 65 Next round     489 Family ... More »

NSW Priority Skilled Occupations List Released


NSW has released the long-awaited Priority Skilled Occupations List. So far this program year, NSW has not granted many 190 Nominations and we expect that NSW will resume the invitation and processing of Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 nominations in the coming weeks. The NSW list is similar to the list for MLTSSL. There have been a number of occupations added and subtracted as compared to the 2016-17 list: Occupations Added The following occupations which have been added: ·         Architect ·         Chemical, Electronics, Industrial, Production and Plant Engineers ·         ICT Security Specialists ·         Civil Engineering Technicians ·         Stonemasons There are also a number of occupations which are not on the MLTSSL which are available for NSW nomination including: ·         Baker ·         Cook ·         Enrolled Nurse ·         Architectural Draftsperson ·         Butcher or Smallgoods Maker Occupations Removed A number of occupations which have been removed ... More »

Required Points Drop for SkillSelect in August 23 Round


Results for the 23 August round of SkillSelect have been released. To the relief of many applicants for General Skilled Migration, the required scores for 189 invitations have started to drop. This article looks at the SkillSelect invitation rounds so far in the 2017-18 program year and looks at the required points and waiting times for the most popular skilled occupations. Skilled Independent Subclass 189 - Non Pro Rata Occupations For non-pro rata occupations, the minimum score for an invitation for a Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa has dropped from 70 to 65 in the latest round. Waiting time with 65 points is 30 weeks, but we expect this to reduce over the next few rounds. Eventually, we expect the minimum score to drop to 60 but it is difficult to predict when this is likely to happen.   Accountants and Auditors Minimum score for accountants and auditors remains at 75 points. Looking at waiting times, these are not reducing as quickly as expected, so the score may remain at 75 for the next few months at least.   IT Professionals Minimum score for ICT Business and Systems Analysts remain at 70, but the minimum score for Software and Applications Programmers and Computer Network Professionals has dropped to 65 points in the most recent round.   Engineers Most engineering specialisations are not pro rata so the minimum score will be 65 for these occupations. Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers dropped ... More »

SkillSelect Update: July-August 2017


The first 3 SkillSelect invitation rounds for the 2017-18 program year have been very different to last year. We are seeing fewer invitations issued and a higher points score required for a 189 invitation compared to last year, even though occupation ceilings have increased for a number of key occupations. This article looks at the last 3 invitation rounds in detail and gives an indication of what to expect in future rounds for the most popular occupations. It also looks at recent statistics for state nominations. Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Invitations Compared to the 2016-17 program year, much fewer invitations have been issued so far in 2017-18 for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa. Only 1,000 189 invitations have been issued each round in July and August 2017 for a total of 3000 invitations so far this program year. After the first 3 rounds of 2016-17, 4,450 invitations were issued - almost 50% more than this year. Table 1: 189 Invitations - 2016-17 versus 2017-18 Program Year Round 2016-17 2017-18 Round 1 2,202 1,000 Round 2 848 1,000 Round 3 1,400 1,000 Total 4,450 3,000 The lower than usual invitation numbers along with a large backlog of EOIs in pro rata occupations largely explain the higher than usual points score to receive a 189 invitation - 70 in each round so far. Last year, the number of 189 invitations issued in the ... More »

ACT Migration Program is now closed to overseas applicants


Effective immediately (23 August 2017 at 9.30 am AEST) the ACT Migration Program is now closed to overseas applicants. If your client is living overseas you will not be able to commence an application for ACT nomination of a Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa until the Program reopens in 2018. If you have started an application for ACT nomination prior to closure of the program, and the status is ‘in progress’, the application must be submitted, and the service fee paid before 11.59 pm (AEST)  Thursday 24 August 2017.   You must submit a complete application e.g. all supporting documents attached, as additional documentation will not be accepted after lodgement.   The application must meet ACT nomination criteria as you will not be contacted to provide additional supporting information. If the application is not submitted, and the $300 service fee paid by Thursday 24 August 2014 (AEST), the application will automatically lapse.   CLOSE TIES to Canberra This action does not affect overseas applicants with close ties in Canberra.  If your client has close ties (either family or genuine job offer) in Canberra; OR they have completed a PhD at an ACT university, they are still eligible to apply for ACT nomination CANBERRA RESIDENTS This action does not affect Canberra based applicants. If your client is living in Canberra and working in a skilled occupation, the program is still open. You are still able to lodge ... More »

Occupation Ceilings for 2017-18 Program Year Released


The Department of Immigration has finally released the occupation ceilings for the 2017-18 Program Year. It appears to be good news for accountants, Software Engineers and Mechanical Engineers with significantly higher ceilings for these occupations. Results of the 12 July SkillSelect Round have also been released and this gives a good idea of the minimum points required at the moment for an invitation. Pro Rata Occupations There have been increases in the occupation ceiling for the following pro rata occupations - it is quite possible that the required points score will reduce compared to the 2016-17 program year: Accountants: Increased by 2285 places to 4785 Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers: Increased by 639 places to 2178 Software and Applications Programmers: Increased by 540 places to 6202 ICT Business and Systems Analysts: Increased by 92 places to 1574 The following occupations had a reduced occupation ceiling - as a result the required points or waiting times may increase: Computer Network Professionals: Decreased by 108 places to 1318 Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers: Decreased by 86 places to 1327 Ceilings for the following occupations are unchanged at 1000 places: Electronics Engineers Other Engineering Professionals We also have the results of the 12 July SkillSelect Round - we saw required points for pro rata occupations being very high. This is most likely a result of a ... More »

Skilled Occupations Lists for 2017-18 Released


The Skilled Occupations lists for the 2017-18 program year have been released.   General Skilled Migration Prior to 1 July, a single MLTSSL applied to both Employer Sponsored and General Skilled Migration programs, and also a single STSOL. 6 occupations have been removed from the list for Skilled Independent and family sponsored 489 visas as compared to the pre 1 July MLTSSL. Removed occupations include Sea Transport Professionals and Psychotherapists (removed entirely) and the occupations of Production Manager (Mining) and Anaesthetists which are still available for State/Territory Nomination. 13 occupations have been removed from the approved lists entirely - these include Senior Managers, Statisticians, Economists, Mining Engineers, Engineering Professionals NEC and Chemists. 16 occupations have been added to the State/Territory Nominated list which were not previously available - these include Air Transport Professionals, ICT Support Staff, Butchers and Retail Buyers. Employer Sponsored Visas The 457 visa and the ENS Direct Entry Stream share the same occupations list. The list is split into MLTSSL occupations and STSOL occupations. MLTSSL occupations result in a 457 visa valid for up to 4 years, whereas the maximum duration of a 457 visa in an STSOL occupation is only 2 years. Compared to the lists prior to 1 July, 18 occupations have been removed entirely - these include marine transport professionals, psychotherapists, medical administrators and ... More »

Citizenship changes


The government has advised that a package of reforms will apply to Citizenship applications received on or after 20 April 2017. The Government has also advised that the new Citizenship legislation for these reforms will not be introduced immediately but will be introduced by the end of 2017. The package of reforms includes the following:    Increase in general residence requirement to a minimum of four years permanent residence immediately prior to application for citizenship Need to demonstrate competent English prior to sitting the citizenship test Strengthening the Australian values statement  to include reference to allegiance to Australia and require applicants to make an undertaking to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community Strengthen the test for Australian citizenship with the addition of new test questions about Australian values, privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship Introducing a requirement for applicants to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community by providing documentation to the effect that people who can work are working, or are actively looking for work or seeking to educate themselves; that people are contributing to the community by being actively involved in community or voluntary organisations; that people are properly paying their taxes and ensuring their children are being educated and  criminal records and adherence to social security laws will also ... More »

Government announces 457 visas to be abolished


The Prime Minister has announced today that the Government is abolishing 457 visas, to be replaced with a new temporary visa with added requirements, including previous work experience, better English language skills and labour market testing. A new training fund will also be established.  The Minister for Immigration, Mr Peter Dutton, has indicated that there will be a temporary skills shortage visa with two streams - a Short Term stream for a two-year visa with no permanent residence outcome at the end of that. There will also be a Medium Term stream. This will target higher skills, will have a shorter skills occupation list and will be for a period of 4 years. This stream can be applied for either offshore or onshore. There will also be significant changes to the occupation lists used for skilled migration visas, including the subclass 457 visa commencing from 19 April 2017.   For those people currently on a 457 visa, there will be grandfathering arrangements and they will continue under the conditions of that visa.  The Minister has also flagged changes to work experience and labour market testing. The implementation of these reforms will begin immediately and will be completed in March 2018.   More »

Occupations ceilings update


Occupations group Computer Network Professionals (2631) and Other Engineering Professionals (2339) have reached their ceiling value for this programme year 2016-1017. You will not be invited to apply for Skilled Independent visa Subclass 189 if your occupation is one of the following: Computer Network Professionals (2631) 263111 Computer Network and Systems Engineer 263112 Network Administrator 263113 Network Analyst Other Engineering Professionals (2339) 233911 Aeronautical Engineer 233912 Agricultural Engineer 233913 Biomedical Engineer 233914 Engineering Technologist 233915 Environmental Engineer 233916 Naval Architect 233999 Engineering Professionals nec Applicant for these occupations will need to wait until after July 2017 to get any invitation   For more information please contact us.   More »

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