A concerning pattern is emerging in Skilled Independent Migration (Subclass 189, 190 Visas). The latest statistics published by the Department of Home Affairs shows a mere 300 invitations issued on 9 May to subclass 189 applicants and just five to those applying regionally. This is a dramatic decrease from 2200 invitations per round issued in July last year. The average score to receive an invitation now sits 75 points.
Whilst the Independent Skilled Migration is heading in a downward spiral, State based migration is closing their doors to immigrants all together with three states/territories currently not issuing any nominations.
By way of background State Nominated Subclass 190 visa is designed for skilled visa applicants who have submitted an expression of interest (EoI) in SkillSelect and, after being nominated by a State/Territory government body, have received an invitation to apply for this visa. Subject to receiving an invitation to apply, persons can apply for the State Nominated 190 visa from in or outside Australia. Each State and Territory Generally imposes their own requirements which at times therefore it is always advisable to check particular State or Territory’s website to familiarise with the specific requirements.
Below is an overview of State/Territory based Skilled Migration Programmes:
New South Wales:
New South Wales uses NSW Priority Skilled Occupation List in order to nominate visa applicants. It is a condition that individual lives and works in NSW should they receive a nomination. NSW allocates invitations first to highest ranking applicants. The remainder of places are allocated to those who are nominated in occupations which are in demand. In terms of issuing the invitations, NSW considers nominated occupation, English Test Score, Employment as factors contributing to receiving an invite. ICT Occupations will require to meet additional requirements.
Whilst being a small state, it’s rigid nomination requirements include providing a commitment statement at the time of nomination. The commitment statement as per the state’s website is a statement compelling an applicant to explain in their own words “what [they] love about living in Tasmania and why [they] want to continue living in the state for at least two more years following the granting of a visa”
The southern state compels applicants to undertake sponsorship obligations in order to be awarded a state nomination. This includes providing a statement outlining their reasons for choosing to live in South Australia as well as conducting labour market research to know and understand job market. Further, onshore applicants are required to demonstrate that their primary place of residence at been in South Australia prior to applying for a nomination. Onshore applicants who do not live in South Australia are not eligible to apply for State Nomination. Onshore applicants must also have been employed for a period of at least six months before applying for a nomination.
Western Australia continues to issue limited invitations to migrants wishing to settle in Perth or a regional area. The state requires migrants in addition to standard eligibility criteria meeting the following conditions:
register your arrival with the Settlement Services team;
bring sufficient funds (for at least three months) into the State to cover settlement costs;
live and work in Western Australia for two years upon arrival: and
complete settlement survey every six months for this two-year period
NT remains open to skilled migrants wishing to apply for state based 190 Nomination. There are however caveats. If you are nominated, you must demonstrate:
skills and experience relevant to the NT
strong evidence of positive employment prospects in the NT either in your skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation
a demonstrated commitment to living and working in the NT or if you have been living and working in the NT for the specified period
Australian Capital Territory:
The ACT Government has closed its doors to skilled migrants wishing to apply for subclass 190 visa from August 2017. Exemptions apply to applicants currently residing in Canberra or if close ties can be demonstrated
Queensland Government is currently not issuing any new 190 nominations until further notice.
Victorian Government is currently not issuing any new 190 nominations until further notice.
Next invitation is expected to occur later this month across all categories of General Skilled Visas.