On 6 August 2021, The Department of Home Affairs (the Department) removed the information about Occupation Ceilings from its website (for reference only, this is the broken link: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skillselect/occupation-ceilings).
An Occupation Ceiling (was) is the number of invitations that could be issued per ANZSCO unit group during the migration program year (from 1 July to 30 June of the following year).
Occupation ceilings apply to all ANZSCO occupations (6-digit code) within the ANZSCO unit (4-digit code). For example, the occupation ceiling set for Accountants (2211) applies to the occupations of Accountant (General) (ANZSCO 221111), Management Accountant (ANZSCO 221112) and Taxation Accountant (ANZSCO 221113).
Occupation ceilings apply to the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa and the Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa, where the applicant is sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area. Occupation ceilings do not apply to State & Territory Nominated General Skilled Migration visas.
The Department used to implement pro-rata arrangements for occupations in high demand. Once an occupation group reached its ceiling, invitations could not be issued for that program year.
As an example of the last data published by the Department, in 2020-21, there was an allocation of 1,000 places for Economists, 1,000 places for Accountants and 17,859 places for Registered Nurses. However, from the Occupation Ceilings website (which is no longer available), it appeared that at the end of the last migration program year, Accountants and Economists had received 0 invitations, and Registered Nurses had received a mere 658 out of the 17,859 possible.
There is a definite negative correlation between these numbers and the global COVID19 crisis. These numbers may be the lowest we’ve seen in the history of the Skilled Migration program, so no wonder the information is no longer available.
Regardless of the COVID19 impacts, the number of invitations issued has been far from reaching the respective occupation ceiling caps for the last few years. We must go back as far as 2016-17, to see occupation ceilings being met.
If you would like to learn more about the history of occupation ceilings, check this out: https://www.anzscosearch.com/occupation-ceilings-history/. Our data goes back seven years!