Last month Australia invited 72 times less than Canada and 15 times less than New Zealand to apply for permanent residence

In the latest invitation round Australia invited 72 times less than Canada and 15 times less than New Zealand to apply for permanent residence

In the latest monthly invitation round Australia has invited only 100 applicants to apply for permanent residency through the 189 visa compared to the two fortnightly (4 and 18 September) selection rounds in Canada resulting a total of 7,200 candidates being invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence in September. Meaning Canada invited 72 times more to apply for permanent residence. Immigration New Zealand has invited close to 1500 in two fortnightly invitation rounds last month meaning 15 times more invites compared to Australia.

Record low invites (Australia)

The record low numbers in Australian Skilled visa invitations should to be temporary as Australian Immigration and the state governments are preparing for the introduction of the new regional visas set to commence on 16 November 2019.

The minimum points required to receive an invitation for the Australian 189 visa was 85 compared to the minimum required for the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score in Canada’s draw was 462. In New Zealand a minimum of 160 points is required to receive an invite.

Australian Immigration Policy for the next 3 years

After the Liberal election win this year, the government announced it’s plan for Australia Immigration and that it will cap permanent migration intake at 160,000 per year over the next 3 years, including refugee cap of 18,750 new migrants. 70 per cent will be in the Skill stream and 30 per cent in the Family stream. Number of Employer Sponsored skilled visas increasing from 35,528 grants in 2017-18 to 39,000 places in 2019-20. State/Territory Nominated category, increasing from 28,974 grants in 2017-18 to 38,968 places in 2019-20, providing states and territories a greater say in migration. Global Talent – Independent program on 1 July 2019 aimed at attracting the very best talent from around the world, with 5,000 places allocated in the 2019-20 Migration Program. No change to the Family stream of the program, with 47,732 places available in.


The Australian SkillSelect systems is similar to Canada’s Express Entry system which manage the pool of candidates for the independent skilled visa categories namely the Australian 189 Skilled Independent visa, Canada’s  Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and Canadian Experience Class and New Zealand’s Skilled Migrant Category.

Eligible applicants are ranked in the pool according to their EOI (expression of interest) score and each occupation group pro rata arrangement, which is based on factors such as age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English, among other factors.

A set number of the highest-ranked applicants are invited to apply through regular invitations from the pool, which are typically held every month in Australia and fortnightly in New Zealand and Canada.

Numbers so far

The September 18 invitation round brings the total number of invitations to apply (ITAs) issued this year to 63,400 compared to Australia’s 4,480 invitations so far this year for the 189 visa.

Australia’s intake for Skilled visas are set at 39,000 versus Canada’s admissions targets for the three Federal High Skilled categories are 81,400 for 2019 and 85,800 for 2020.

Applicants with not enough points for the 189 Skilled Independent visa may have other potential options, the most likely the State Sponsored 190 visa and the new 491 visa which will be available from 16 November 2019 through state sponsorship and 494 visa through regional employer sponsorship.

All Australian states have closed their Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 Visa and are preparing for the 491 visa.

Seekvisa will be monitoring these changes closely and will cover the changes leading up to the new visas in November. Call or visit our Melbourne office (by appointment only) to speak with your trusted migration agents.

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