Australia Invitation Round: How it works, and how to get invited for skilled migration

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Wondering how you can secure an invitation to apply for a skilled migration visa? Read on to understand how the Australia invitation round works and how you can qualify for an invitation.

What is an invitation round, and how does it work?

An invitation round is a system that the Australian government employs to identify and select suitable migrants who match the country’s current labour market needs.

Thus, it is a key part of the Australian skilled migration system.

Types of invitation rounds

There are two main types of invitation rounds in Australia: SkillSelect invitation rounds and the state/territory nomination invitation rounds. 

SkillSelect Invitation Rounds

  • Run by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).
  • Invitations are generally released quarterly and can vary based on the number of applications received and processed by the DHA.
  • Invitations are issued based on an applicant’s points score, calculated from factors like age, qualifications, work experience, English language skills, and family ties to Australia.
  • The highest-ranked applicants by points score receive invitations to apply for the relevant visa. The time at which they reached their points score (referred to as the date of effect) determines their order of invitation.
  • The DHA issues invitations directly to the selected candidates based on their points score and occupation demand.

State/territory nomination invitation rounds

  • Run by individual state/territory governments.
  • Open to all eligible applicants for one of the following visas:
  • State/territory government nominations are independent of DHA’s invitation rounds.
  • The number of nominations approved by state/territory governments is set by the Australian Government. The invitations are issued separately by each state/territory government.
  • The frequency of state/territory invitation rounds can vary. These rounds may be held more irregularly, with invitations being issued at unpredictable intervals.
  • State/territory government nominations are based on their own criteria. In general, state and territory governments are looking for applicants with skills that are in demand in their jurisdiction and willing to live and work in regional Australia.

How the invitation round process works

The invitation process is straightforward:

1. The applicant first creates and submits an Expression of Interest (EOI).

The EOI is an online application that outlines their skills, qualifications, experience, and English language proficiency. They must submit it on the SkillSelect website.

2. The DHA or state/territory governments assess the EOIs and calculate the points score.

They assign points based on a range of factors, including age, education, work experience, and English language skills. 

The minimum points score (also referred to as the cutoff score) required to receive an invitation varies depending on the visa subclass and the occupation of the applicant. 

For state/territory applications, there are other factors that influence the cutoff, such as the remaining monthly allocation of nominations, demand, and so on.

3. Invitations are sent to suitable applicants. 

The highest-ranked applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for the respective visa subclass will be invited. Once invited, they must lodge their visa applications within the specified time frame.

Occupation ceilings

set. These are called occupation ceilings. 

This ensures that the skilled migration program is regulated and remains aligned with Australia’s labour market needs. Additionally, it prevents oversaturation in specific occupations.

What does this tell you as a skilled migration visa applicant?

  • Carefully consider your occupation choice. Choosing an occupation with a higher ceiling may help your chances of receiving an invitation. But, you must also make sure your skills and experience align with the chosen occupation.
  • Occupation ceilings change periodically, so you must stay informed. Consider alternative occupations or enhancing your skills and qualifications to align with occupations with higher ceilings.

Consider exploring regional migration options. Regional migration paths often offer higher chances of securing an invitation due to increased occupation ceilings and more pronounced labour market needs in these areas.

How do I know if I am eligible for an invitation round?

To be eligible for an invitation round, you must:

  • Have created an Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • Meet the minimum eligibility criteria for the visa subclass you are applying for.
  • Have a valid skills assessment for your occupation.
  • Have scored at least the minimum point score for your occupation in the most recent invitation round. 

Keep in mind that skilled migration is generally competitive. Even when you meet the eligibility criteria set by both the DHA and a specific state/territory, there is no guarantee of receiving an invitation.

189 Invitation Round (SkillSelect)

The Skilled Independent 189 visa applies to invited workers and New Zealand citizens with skills Australia needs. This visa allows one to live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.

For this visa, you won’t need a sponsor or a nominator.

Invitations issued for this visa during 2022-23 program year

The table below displays the number of invitations given during the SkillSelect invitation round on May 25, 2023, for the 189 visa:

MonthNumber of invitations issued
July 2022
August 202212,200
September 2022
October 202211,982
November 2022
December 202235,000
January 2023
February 2023
March 2023
April 2023
May 20237,353
June 2023

Minimum points score

Based on the latest date of effect month (May 2023), the minimum point score is 65. If you are not aware of your score, you may check it using the PR Calculator.

Occupations that were issued invitations

For the May 2023 invitation rounds, the occupations that were issued invitations are related to health and education. Refer to the table below for these occupations and the respective minimum points required.

OccupationOffshoreOnshore
Audiologist6565
Cardiothoracic SurgeonN/A*75
Child Care Centre Manager6565
Chiropractor7065
Clinical Psychologist6580
Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist6565
Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teacher6565
Educational PsychologistN/A*70
Emergency Medicine Specialist7565
Gastroenterologist6565
General Practitioner6565
Intensive Care Specialist7070
Medical Diagnostic Radiographer6565
Medical Laboratory Scientist6565
Medical Practitioners nec6565
Medical Radiation Therapist8580
Midwife6565
Neurosurgeon80N/A*
Nuclear Medicine Technologist6580
Nurse Practitioner65N/A*
Obstetrician and GynaecologistN/A*65
Occupational Therapist6565
Optometrist7070
Organisational PsychologistN/A*90
Orthotist or ProsthetistN/A*65
OsteopathN/A*75
Paediatrician7570
PathoN/A*65
Physiotherapist6565
Podiatrist6565
Psychiatrist6565
Psychologists nec6565
Radiation Oncologist8585
Registered Nurse (Aged Care)6565
Registered Nurse (Child and Family Health)6565
Registered Nurse (Community Health)6565
Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)6565
Registered Nurse (Developmental Disability)N/A*85
Registered Nurse (Disability and Rehabilitation)6565
Registered Nurse (Medical Practice)6565
Registered Nurse (Medical)6565
Registered Nurse (Mental Health)6565
Registered Nurse (Paediatrics)6565
Registered Nurse (Perioperative)6565
Registered Nurse (Surgical)6565
Registered Nurses nec6565
Rheumatologist75N/A*
Secondary School Teacher6565
Sonographer6570
Special Needs Teacher6565
Specialist Physician (General Medicine)9070
Specialist Physicians nec6565
Speech Pathologist6565
Surgeon (General)9065
Teacher of the Hearing Impaired65N/A*
Thoracic Medicine SpecialistN/A*75
Vascular SurgeonN/A*65

*Outcomes might show that there are no eligible candidates to invite or that candidates did not meet the criteria for an invitation.

Invitations issued for this visa during 2022-23 program year.

The table below displays the number of invitations given during the SkillSelect invitation round on May 25, 2023, for the 491 visa (Family Sponsored):

Minimum points score

Based on the latest date of effect month (April 2023), the minimum points score is 65.

Occupations that were issued invitations

In the May 2023 invitation rounds, invitations were extended for occupations in health and education. Check the table below for these occupations and the minimum points needed for this visa.

*Outcomes might show that there are no eligible candidates to invite or that candidates did not meet the criteria for an invitation.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Invitation Round

The table below shows the number of intending migrants who received nominations from the ACT Government from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023:

Visa typeNumber of nominations
ACT Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)2,025
ACT Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) State and Territory Nominated2,025

For specific information about ACT invitation rounds, such as the next dates for invitation rounds, visit their official website. There, you can also access the latest Canberra Matrix invitation rankings

New South Wales (NSW) Invitation Round

The table below displays the count of individuals who received nominations from the NSW Government between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023:

Visa typeNumber of nominations
NSW Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)9,106
NSW Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) State and Territory Nominated6,168

NSW doesn’t have set dates for invitation rounds. They give priority to EOIs in key sectors like health, education, ICT, and infrastructure.

Northern Territory (NT) invitation round

The table shows the number of people nominated by the NT Government from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023:

Visa typeNumber of nominations
NT Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)600
NT Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) State and Territory Nominated1,400

To get more information on NT visa nomination, including whether they are currently accepting new nominations, visit their official website. Also, find details on eligibility for NT nomination.

Queensland (Qld) invitation round

The table below illustrates the number of individuals nominated by the Queensland Government between July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023:

Visa typeNumber of nominations
Qld Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)2,725
Qld Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) State and Territory Nominated1,642

Visit the official website Migration Queensland for further details on the skilled visas above, including specific criteria to meet, eligible occupations, and steps for applying for Queensland state nomination.

South Australia (SA) Invitation Round

The table below displays the count of individuals nominated by the South Australian Government from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

Visa typeNumber of nominations
SA Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)3,000
SA Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) State and Territory Nominated5,800

South Australia’s official migration website provides valuable information about state nomination, including 

Tasmania (TAS) Invitation Round

The table shown below illustrates the number of people nominated by the Tasmanian Government from July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023.

Visa typeNumber of nominations
Tas Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)2,150
Tas Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) State and Territory Nominated2,100

The Migration Tasmania website offers detailed information about how to apply for Tasmanian nomination and the latest updates regarding new openings for EOIs.

Victoria (VIC) Invitation Round

The table shows the number of applicants nominated by the Victorian Government from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023:

Visa typeNumber of nominations
Vic Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)12,900
Vic Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) State and Territory Nominated2,000

Visit the Live in Melbourne website to know more about Victoria’s skilled migration visa nomination program.

Western Australia (WA) Invitation Round

The table provides information on the the number of candidates nominated by the Western Australian Government between July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023:

Visa typeNumber of nominations
WA Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)5,350
WA Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) State and Territory Nominated2,790

For the most recent updates on state nominations and invitations, check out the WA Migration Services website. Visit their site to stay informed about changes in eligibility criteria, application procedures, eligible occupations, and more.

Get professional eligibility guidance for a smooth Australian migration

Rest assured that you possess the necessary qualifications to secure an invitation in the upcoming migration rounds for Australia!

At KBA Global, our experienced migration agents are ready to offer you tailored guidance. They will delve into your aspirations, skills, and experience, assisting you in pinpointing the visa pathway that perfectly aligns with your goals.

Everything starts with a simple call. Book a free consultation with one of our registered migration agents today!

Invitation Round Frequently Asked Questions

Can an individual obtain an Australian skilled migration visa without being invited?

No, an individual cannot obtain an Australian skilled migration visa without being invited. 

Invitations are mandatory for all skilled visa applicants under the SkillSelect system and state/territory nomination rounds. The invitation serves as a preliminary indication that an applicant meets the basic eligibility criteria for the visa subclass and occupation they have nominated.

Should I apply for visas under the SkillSelect invitation rounds or the state/territory invitation rounds?

The decision of whether to apply under the SkillSelect invitation rounds or the state/territory nomination rounds depends on your individual circumstances and preferences.

With SkillSelect invitation rounds, you have a wider range of visa options, more flexible occupation choices, and no requirement to live in a regional area. However, this pathway typically has higher competition.

On the other hand, state/territory invitation rounds generally have a smaller pool of applicants, resulting in a higher likelihood of receiving an invitation if you meet the specific requirements.

Where can I find the minimum point score for each occupation in each state/territory?

The minimum points score for each occupation varies depending on the visa subclass, the state/territory, and the invitation round. 

You can find the latest minimum point scores for SkillSelect invitation rounds on the Department of Home Affairs website. For state/territory invitation rounds, check the websites of the relevant state/territory governments.

What should I do once I receive an invitation?

Once you receive an invitation, you must lodge your visa application within the limited specified timeframe. You should carefully review the invitation letter and gather all the required documentation to support your application. You may also want to consider seeking professional assistance from a registered migration agent to ensure your application is complete and accurate.

Disclaimer: The above information is a general guide and not professional immigration advice. Be aware that immigration laws and regulations can change swiftly, potentially rendering some or all of the information outdated. Thus, before using the information above, we recommend checking the current laws through assistance from a migration agent or the Department of Home Affairs website.