The immigration department places a limit of the number of applicants who can be granted a visa based on their occupation. This is to help regulate the Australian labour market according to its needs.

Last night, the immigration department released the new quotas for eligible occupations under the general skilled migration program. There has been just a slight decrease in total numbers but the biggest change has been for accountants.

The capacity for accountants has taken a significant plunge down to only 1000 places.

Find: Occupation ceiling comparison

Clearly Australia is no longer in great need for accountants. International students who are taking or considering taking accounting in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane, should be aware that it will not be as easy to get residency in Australia through the general skilled migration program.

These occupation ceilings does not apply to the Skilled Work Regional 491 – State Nomination stream visa or the Skilled Nomination 190 Visa. It does apply however to the 491 – Family Sponsored stream visa.

For Engineers and Nurses, the ceilings have increased slightly. IT occupations have been reduced a little. These are popular course choices for international students in Australia, so this is good news for those students.

However, when a significant number of the 189 invitations begin to be issued? The last few months have reflected a deliberate policy to restrict these numbers. Even nurses where they had 17,509 places last, only a small percentage of that quota was actually filled.

We can only hope the government will give priority for those applicants who are already living in Australia. There seems little point at the moment to be issuing precious invitations to those outside of Australia for who knows when they will be able to actually travel here.

According to the Immigration Occupation Ceilings are as follows;

An ‘occupation ceiling’ may be applied to invitations issued under the independent, skilled regional (provisional) visas. This means there will be a limit on how many EOIs can be invited for skilled migration from an occupation group. This ensures that the skilled migration program is not dominated by a small number of occupations. Once this limit is reached, no further invitations for that particular occupation group will be issued for that program year. Invitations will then be allocated to intending migrants in other occupation groups even if they are lower ranking. See ‘occupation ceilings’ tab on this page.

The table below shows the occupation ceilings for the 2020-2021 program year for each occupation on the list of eligible skilled occupations by four-digit ANZSCO code unit group.

Occupation ceiling values are based on a percentage of stock employment figures for each occupation. Employment figures are provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and represent the number of people employed in Australia in each occupation.

Occupation ceilings do not apply to State or Territory Nominated, Employer Sponsored or Business Innovation and Investment visa subclasses.

Let us hope the department begins to give some leadership on how the skill migration program is going to be implemented for the COVID 19 dominated financial year.

If you need advice, we offer Skype, Zoom and phone consultations. Call +(02) 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists. Stay well, everyone.

Karl Konrad