SkillSelect Update - August 2018

The Department of Home Affairs has just released their first Skill Select Invitation Round data for the new migration year 2018/2019. Among this is advice that subclass 189 and 489 family sponsored invitations will be issued once on the 11th of each month. This is a change from last year when invitations were issued every two weeks.

Invitation numbers have increased

In good news, invitations for 189 occupations have increased by almost 40 percent from 600 places per month to 1000 places per month.

Point scores for non pro-rata occupations have decreased

The points score for non-pro rata 189 has also decreased to 70 points, down from 75 points at the end of last program year.

A person who has lodged an Expression of Interest for a 189 non pro-rata occupation can expect to wait approximately 4 months for an invitation if they have reached 70 points.

489 Family Sponsored visas

There is no change to 489 family sponsored applications.

Invitations for this subclass remain at 10 per month, requiring a point score of 80.

Pro-rata occupations

Pro-rata occupations are classified as those for which there is more demand for places than there are places available. These occupations usually have a point score higher than the non pro-rata occupations.

On 11 July 2018 the invitation rounds scores for pro-rata occupations were:

Occupation ID Occupation Groups Point Score Date of effect
2211 Accountants 85 6 Jul 2018
2212 Auditors, Company Secretaries & Corporate Treasurers 80 16 Feb 2018
2334 Electronics Engineer 75 16 Jun 2018
2335 Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers 75 19 Jun 2018
2339 Other Engineering Professionals 80 27 Jun 2018
2611 ICT Business and Systems Analysts 80 5 Jul 2018
2613 Software and Applications Programmers 75 11 Apr 2018
2631 Computer and Network Professionals 75 11 May 2018
Most of the pro-rata occupations were invited in less than 4 weeks. It is possible these scores may drop in the upcoming rounds. We will be able to better gauge trends in the next few months.

Pass mark increased

The pass mark for all applicants increased from 60 to 65 on 1 July 2018.

That means that people who do not have a minimum point score of 65 points will not be considered for the 189, 190 or 489.

What options do you have if you have not reached the points score required?

State and Regional Sponsorship

State sponsorship is an exciting option for many clients who have not been able to reach the point score for occupations under the 189 pathway.

More occupation choices

While applicants for the 189 must have an occupation on the MLTSSL, states and regions may be able to sponsor for MLTSSL, STSOL and ROL occupations. This means that there may be a greater opportunity for a migration pathway by seeking state or territory sponsorship.

What is the point score for 190 and 489 regional?

The point score for most states and regions is still 65, including either:

  • 5 points for state sponsorship
  • 10 points for regional sponsorship
Some states such as Victoria and NSW places are competitive for some occupations and a higher point score may be required.

Other ways to increase your points

Additional points many be awarded in a number of ways including, but not limited, to:
  • Increasing your level of English
  • Higher education in Australia or overseas
  • Years of work experience in Australia or overseas
  • Professional Year
  • Partner points


Whilst it is encouraging to see the points scores for invitation decrease and the number of invitations increase in some areas, legislative changes are continuing to be made to the general skilled migration program and require close attention to detail. We strongly recommend prospective applicants to seek expert advice and guidance from a reputable Registered Migration Agent or practicing solicitor that specialises in Immigration law.

If you would like more information on how these changes could affect you please book a consultation with one of our advisors.

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