The Department of Home Affair (DHA) has announced an increase to the pool and pass mark to 65 points for the following three visa subclasses where an application is made on or after 1 July 2018 in response to an invitation given on or after 1 July 2018:

  • Skilled-Independent (Permanent) (Class SI) Subclass 189
  • Skilled-Nominated (Permanent) (Class SN) Subclass 190
  • Skilled-Regional Sponsored (Provisional) (Class SP) Subclass 489

The new pass mark reflects the high level of interest in skilled migration to Australia and the high calibre of prospective applicants who express their interest in the General Skilled Migration program.

Under the transitional arrangements, the pool and pass mark from the previous instrument is preserved for all visa applications for the above visas made before, on or after 1 July 2018 in response to an invitation given by the Minister before 1 July 2018.

Another major change to the abovementioned visas is that all visa applicants must be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation. According to DHA figures, only around 1% of applicants for the 189 subclass are between 45 and 50 at present. Whilst the overall impact on program numbers are small, for people between 45 and 50 the effect will be significant because the age limit for permanent employer sponsored has also been reduced to 45.

Even though the actual cut off points for 189 applicants will need to be higher (75 or more in most cases), where an applicant is applying for a State/Territory nominated 190 visa they will receive an invitation as soon as they are approved for State/Territory support and their points are at least 65. Where an applicant was aiming for 60 with 5 for State/Territory nomination, they may need to look at the State/Territory nominated 489 visa, which offers 10 points for State/Territory support.

If you need advice and assistance, please contact us on + 61 3 9614 7111 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our Migration Agents/Lawyers.