Queensland, known for its vibrant economy and diverse opportunities, has been a sought-after destination for skilled migrants looking to make Australia their home. However, this year, aspiring migrants aiming for Queensland’s state sponsorship for a Skilled visa have encountered a significant shift in the program dynamics. With a reduced quota of 1,000 places this year, down by one-third from the previous year’s allocation of 3,000 spots, the competition has intensified, requiring applicants to strategize and stand out more than ever before.
Changes in Selection Criteria
One of the most notable changes this year is the stringent invitation criteria. Whilst the criteria to seek nomination has lowered, successful applicants to receive a nomination invitation in the last three end of month rounds, includings the November round held on 28 November 2023, have primarily been those boasting a points score of 95 or higher, or possessing unique attributes that distinguish them in their respective fields. The emphasis on a higher points score urges candidates to explore all possible avenues to bolster their points tally.
Striving for a Competitive Edge
The lowered quota and heightened competition signal the necessity for applicants to take proactive measures to increase their points score. While the minimum required points might have sufficed in the past, this year demands a more robust approach. Upskilling, gaining additional work experience, improving English proficiency, obtaining language accreditation, introducing partner skills or securing a higher qualification are some avenues aspirants can explore to enhance their chances.
Exploring Alternative Pathways
Given the competitive nature of the current landscape, potential applicants are encouraged to consider alternative visa pathways. For applicants with Covid visas expiring before February 2024, further extensions are still available. Alternatively, employer-sponsored visas present viable options for skilled individuals seeking to make Queensland their home. These pathways often offer a different set of requirements and may provide a more accessible route for some candidates, and with changes introduced from 25 November introducing more flexible residency pathways for all occupations via employer-sponsored pathways, now is the time to start opening channels of communication with prospective employers.
Urgency for Visa Renewal
For individuals whose visas are nearing expiration within the next 90 days, it’s crucial to act swiftly. Seeking alternative options and exploring viable pathways becomes even more pressing in these circumstances. Queensland Migration Practice advises prospective applicants with any immediate concerns to contact our office to discuss alternative solutions, ensuring a smooth transition without compromising one’s immigration status.