850 invitations issued invitation rounds for 189/491 Australia visas

The results of the Australian Subclass 189 – Skilled – Independent visa, and Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visas sponsored by an eligible relative invitation rounds of May 2020 and June 2020 have been released. Rather than choosing candidates with the highest points in an “Expression of Interest”, these invitation rounds have adopted a “targeted” approach to select candidates.

Compared to the April 2020 invitation round in which just a total of 100 invitations were issued, the May and June invitation rounds marked an increase in the number of invitations issued. In the May 2020 invitation round, 550 invitations were issued for 189 visas and 100 invitations were issued for 491 visas sponsored by an eligible relative. In the June 2020 invitation round 170 invitations were issued for 189 visas and 30 invitations were issued for 491 visas sponsored by an eligible relative.

Targeted invitation rounds

Most significantly, Australia has stopped issuing invitations to applicants with the highest points based on their EoI, which had been, until now, the criteria under the SkillSelect system for 189 and  489/491 visas sponsored by an eligible relative ever since the commencement of the SkillSelect system on 1 July 2012.

As per the policy that existed until now, invitations are issued to EOIs with the highest points score first and then to those who have submitted the EoIs, “until the occupation ceiling is reached for one or more occupation group the maximum number of invitations is reached for the subclass, or there are no further eligible EOIs available in SkillSelect.” But regarding the change in the selection criteria, Home Affairs gave an explanation on their website: “The Government is closely monitoring migration and visa settings to ensure they are consistent with public health measures, are flexible and do not displace job opportunities for Australians, so that Australia can effectively respond to the immediate and subsequent impacts of COVID-19. As such, targeted invitation rounds occurred in May and June 2020.”

As a result, the minimum points required for a 189 visa invitation came down from 95 points in the April invitation round to 85 points in May and June. Similarly, the minimum points required for 489 visa application dropped from 95 points in April to 70 points in May and June.

Now the question is whom did these latest invitation rounds “targeted”. Given the candidates with experience in occupations such as accountants, engineers and IT professionals have an ‘N/A’ for minimum points and last date of the effect month, we can guess that they have not received invitations. At the same time, pro-rated occupation group of 2339 Other Engineering Professionals have a minimum points score and date. So some EoIs in these occupations must have received invitations. It can be seen that one of the occupations in this unit group is 233913 Biomedical Engineer. No wonder that in the current circumstances, these skilled professionals are receiving preference. It is also assumed that those nominating occupations under the unit group of 2544 Registered Nurses, and other medical-related occupations must also have received invitations.

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