We find ourselves halfway through the 2017/18 program year for Australian skilled visas.
What is the trend with visa invitations, what can those awaiting a skilled visa invitation reasonably expect, and what does this mean for those trying to work out a skilled visa strategy?
The latest skilled visa invitation rounds reveal the Department of Immigration is presently working to a relatively high points threshold when issuing invitations for subclass 189 Skilled Independent and subclass 489 Skilled Family Sponsored visas.
To recap, some time after lodging an Expression of Interest (EoI) for each of these visa types the Department of Immigration will issue an invitation to apply for a visa.
The amount of time from EoI submission to the issuing of the invitation to apply will depend on several variables, including:
- The occupation being nominated
- The points claimed – more points claimed on the EoI means a visa invitation is more likely to be forthcoming
- The number of other EoIs lodged – where points claimed are the same EoIs lodged earlier will have preference
A key issue to remember is the need for points claimed to be sustainable, particularly in the context of skilled work experience.
Over claiming points for skilled work experience is not a sensible strategy, and in a worse case scenario can lead to a refusal of the visa application and the loss of all Visa Application Charges paid to the Department of Immigration.
The results from the last two invitation rounds are available here:
These show invitations only being issued to applicants with a minimum of 70 points .
The last invitation round where those with 65 points were invited to apply was on 18 October, 2017.
There have been no invitations so far during the current program year (which commenced on the 1st of July 2017) to subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa applicants with 60 points.
By contrast, in the second half of the previous 2016/17 program year invitations were forthcoming in almost all invitation rounds to those with 60 points.
What can we reasonably conclude from this?
It appears that in the first 6 months of the program year the Department of Immigration is focusing on EoIs with 70+ points.
Once we get into a new calendar year EoIs with 60 and 65 points are far more likely to receive an invitation for a skilled visa under subclass 189.
Our recommendation to those who have an expectation of being granted 60 or 65 points in the skilled visa points test and who are looking at a subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa strategy is therefore to be in a position to lodge the EoI with the Department of Immigration in the next 3 to 4 months (if not lodged already), to allow sufficient time to receive a visa invitation to be issued and accepted before the end of the 2017/18 program year on 30 June, 2018.
Given applicants must have a Migration Skills Assessment in place before they lodge the EoI – and should have supporting documentation available to provide comfort as to the points being claimed (eg English language test results, skilled work experience documentation) now is the time to make progress on your skills assessment application and your English language test, if you are an intending subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa applicant, and don’t have them in place already.
Go Matilda Visas will be delighted to assist with your planned skilled visa application – please complete the enquiry form on this page if you think you might like the assistance of a professional firm of Australian visa advisors.
Our fees are fixed in amount, are agreed with you in advance, and can be paid in stages as your visa application progresses.