SkillSelect Update October 2012

SkillSelect Update October 2012

By Mark Webster
15 October 2012

The SkillSelect system was introduced on 1 July 2012, and applies to most General Skilled Migration visas. Under this system, you must lodge an "Expression of Interest" before you can apply for a visa. These Expressions of Interests, or EOIs, are evaluated regularly by the Department of Immigration, and invitations are issues to the candidates who rank highest in points score.

The Department of Immigration have released updates that give us a better understanding of how invitations are issued, how many have been sent out and the patterns that are emerging under the SkillSelect system.

Here is an overview of this information for your review.

How Invitations are Issued

In the SkillSelect system, applicants are ranked by points score. The highest scoring applicants receive an invitation, providing the occupational ceiling for their occupation has not yet been met.

Occupational ceilings have been set for most occupational categories - this means there is a set amount of positions available each year for these occupations to be allocated invitations. Once a ceiling is met for an occupational group, no further invitations will be issued for that occupational group for the financial year.

Invitations for independent and family sponsored general skilled applicants are issued as part of an automated process. This means invitations are sent to these applicants on a monthly periodic basis according to the earliest lodgement of their EOI, best points score and occupation demand.

If applicants are nominated by a state or territory government , they are issued an invitation immediately. In this case, providing the applicant has the threshold points score of 60, they will be issued an invitation as soon as the state or territory government completes the nomination process through SkillSelect, providing the occupational ceiling has not yet been met.

Numbers of Invitations - Automated Rounds

There have now been four rounds of automated invitations for SkillSelect for independent and family sponsored applicants:

EOI Invitations by Round - Independent and Family Sponsored GSM

1 August 2012 100 Invitations
1 September 2012 500 Invitations
15 September 2012 500 Invitations
1 October 20121,000 Invitations
15 October 20121,000 Invitations
Total: 3,100 Invitations

It appears that the Department of Immigration is planning to issue invitations via the automated system twice a month - on the first of the month and the 15th of the month.

Numbers of invitations have been steadily increasing as the Department of Immigration irons out the bugs in the lodgement process. However, the number of invitations is still at a level far below what would be required to fill the General Skilled Migration program through the SkillSelect system. There are approximately 75,000 places available in the 2012-13 financial year, which would require a minimum of 1,500 invitations a week for the program to be filled via SkillSelect.

Detailed statistics on the automated rounds up to 15 September have been released. We are still awaiting statistics on the rounds for 1 October and 15 October.

Automated invitations have been split between Independent Skilled applicants and Skilled Designated Area Sponsored applicants in the ratio of 9 to 1. That is for the 15 September round, 450 invitations were issued to Skilled - Independent applicants, and 50 to Skilled Designated Area Sponsored applicants

Numbers of Invitations - State/Territory Nominated Applicants

State/Territory nomination is available both for the permanent Subclass 190 visa, and the 4-year provisional subclass 489 visa. Numbers so far are as follows:

EOI Invitations by Round - State/Territory Nominated Subclasses

July 2012107 Invitations
August 2012732 Invitations
Total: 839 Invitations

Note - statistics are not yet available for September 2012.

Points Score for Automated Invitations

The threshold pass mark for SkillSelect General Skilled Visas is 60. The points required to receive an invitation may be higher than this. For each round, the Department of Immigration has published the minimum pass mark required for an automated invitation. The good news is that the required pass mark has decreased in each round as follows:

Minimum Points Score for Automated Invitations by Round

1 August 201275 Points
1 September 201270 Points
15 September 201265 Points

It may well be that the minimum points for an automated invitation may be down to the threshold pass mark of 60 in future invitation rounds.

Waiting Time for Invitation

The Department of Immigration publishes the latest date an EOI was lodged before receiving an invitation. This effectively gives a waiting time for an EOI to be processed and an invitation issued.

A summary of these dates for Skilled Independent applications by round is as follows:

Latest Date of Invitation by Round - Skilled Independent

1 August 201218/07/2012
1 September 201225/08/2012
15 September 201214/09/2012

In other words, an applicant in the 15 September round received an invitation after having lodged an EOI on 14 September. High calibre applicants will not need to wait long for an invitation once their EOI is lodged.


Whilst the SkillSelect system is still in its infancy, the early signs are quite encouraging.

Numbers of invitations so far have been quite small, and the minimum pass mark has been going down over time. This suggests that applicants with 65 or even 60 points may have a very good chance of obtaining an EOI invitation.

The waiting time is also very encouraging - applicants with 65 points for Skilled Independent or Designated Area Sponsored visas are unlikely to wait more than 2 weeks for an EOI invitation.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss making an application through the SkillSelect system.


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