You thought Skilled Migration was competitive? Spare a thought for the hundreds of candidates applying for Australia’s most in-demand occupations, as published by SkillSelect. With legions of applicants competing for an invitation, obtaining one takes talent, perseverance, and plenty of good fortune.

Count yourself lucky as we reveal the Australian most competitive occupations currently in SkillSelect under the Independent Skilled (Subclass 189) visa:

  • 221111 Accountants: 12,315 EOIs
  • 261313 Software Engineer: 8,386 EOIs
  • 221213 External Auditor: 3,657 EOIs
  • 233512 Mechanical Engineer: 3,516 EOIs
  • 261111 ICT Business Analyst: 3,447 EOIs

Competition is particularly severe for Accountants and unfortunately, the number of EOIs still remains significant across all 5 occupations under the State nomination program - Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) and Skilled Regional (Subclass 491) visas.

top 5 most competitive

What does this mean for candidates?

The above numbers mean that unless a candidate has very high points, for example, an Expression of Interest with a score of at least 95 points or above, the chance of receiving an invitation to apply for a Subclass 189 visa is extremely unlikely, particularly in today’s Covid-19 environment.

Information is power though and the below summary of the number of EOIs currently in the system under Subclass 189 visa by points, may help you ‘map your competitive position’:

221111: Accountants

Points EOI Count
90 3,182
95 2,549
100 227
105 <20

261313: Software Engineer

Points EOI Count
85 1,396
90 707
95 124
100 <20

221213: External Auditor

Points EOI Count
90 1,715
95 254
100 <20

233512: Mechanical Engineer

Points EOI Count
85 754
90 387
95 46
105 <20

261111: ICT Business Analyst

Points EOI Count
90 495
95 103
100 <20

Source: SkillSelect EOI Backlog

What can you do to maximise your chances?

When applying for a GSM visa it is important to plan each step of the process before just ‘leaping in’ and making an Expression of Interest in SkillSelect. Each component of the process involves a great deal of preparation, time, cost, and strategy.

If you are looking to maximise your chances of obtaining an invitation to apply for a Skilled visa, it is key that you understand how SkillSelect works so take note of a couple of tips!

1. How many points do you have?

The Points Test is a threshold requirement of General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas. The current minimum points score required to meet visa requirements for GSM visas is 65 points but as you have already learned, Skilled migration is very competitive and for some occupations, there is a high demand to receive an invitation, and as such, the cut-off points score may be higher.

Obtaining an accurate point score may be the difference between obtaining an invitation or not, so a good understanding of the different ‘points factors’ is critical to claiming skilled points. Do you know what a ‘Specialist Education qualification’ is? Do you know whether you can claim points for studying an Australian course offshore due to Covid-19 travel restrictions? Obtaining professional advice from a Registered Migration Agent may be key to answer these questions, but in the meantime, you can start by undertaking a self-assessment against the Points Test using our SkillSelect Visa Points Test Calculator.

2. EOI Date of Effect

Expressions of Interest in SkillSelect are ranked automatically by points score and then by date of effect (i.e. the time at which the requisite points score was achieved).

The date of effect is updated each time you amend your EOI if as a result of this amendment, your points test score changes. This means that the change will alter your date of effect for the purposes of ranking against a particular subclass of visa. So be careful when updating your EOI as this may affect your position in the ranking.


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Contact us if you are seeking professional immigration assistance and you would like to talk to a Registered Migration Agent.