General Skilled Migration Update September 2015

webster By Mark Webster
Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Old System Skilled Visas to be Capped

People who have applied for 175, 176 and 475 visas will have their applications "capped and ceased" effective today.

These applicants will receive a refund of their application fees, but their applications will be taken to have never been made.

A refund is poor consolation to many applicants who have waited patiently for 5 years or more for their applications to be processed. Many of these applicants were eligible for the visa they applied for but are no longer eligible under the new General Skilled Migration program.

Note that applicants who are in Australia will continue to be processed, as will applicants for onshore 885, 886 and 487 visas. Most 175 Skilled Independent applications have already been allocated and granted, and the most significant effect will be on those applicants sponsored by family members. This underscores the current government's policy to limit the number of family sponsored migrants.

SkillSelect Update September 2015

The report on the September SkillSelect Invitation Round has been released and there are again some interesting insights to be gained.

Places for Auditors Filled

Places for the Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers occupational group have been filled for the 2015-16 financial year. This means there will be no more invitations for external auditors or internal auditors for 189 and 489 family sponsored visas until 1 July 2016.

Note that the occupational ceiling does not apply to state nominated visas (ie 190 and 489 state sponsored) and it is still possible to apply for these visas.

Low Number of Invitations Issued for Accountants

The number of invitations issued for accountants was surprisingly low - 20 places only. The minimum points score to receive an invitation in this occupational group was 70 in the September round. At this stage, it is not clear why this was done, and we expect the situation to return to normal in the next invitation round. However, due to the low occupational ceiling for this group, we expect the minimum score for an invitation to be 65 for the rest of the year.

Accountants may wish to ensure they claim as many points as possible to improve their chances of receiving an invitation - for instance:

  • Improving their English language scores
  • Completing a Professional Year Program
  • Claiming points for Spouse Skills
  • Completing the NAATI test for translators and interpreters

Change to Timing of Invitation Rounds

From October, there will be two invitation rounds each month - the first and third Friday of each month.

This could mean shorter waiting times for invitations for clients seeking to apply for 189 and 489 visas.


The General Skilled Migration landscape continues to change rapidly. If you would like assistance in making your application, please book a consultation with one of our experienced advisors.


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