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Modern Migration Australia –  Reviewing the 489 and 189 Visa Requirements

At Modern Migration Australia, we provide personalised migration advice and support in relation to 189 Visa requirements and 489 Visas in Australia. As registered migration agents, our professionals are consistently providing updates on visa conditions and requirements to help you make the best decisions when it comes to your applications.

Learn more about 189 and 489 Visa patterns and get expert help from the team at Modern Migration Australia.

A Year in Review

The close of the financial year also coincides with the end of the Department of Immigration (Home Affairs) migration year. As such, it’s a good time to review the patterns for invitations and applications in the Subclass 189 and 489 Visas to see what can be learnt for the new migration year.

189 and 489 Visa Gross Numbers

Total invitations issued for the Subclass 189 Visa were 15,300 compared to a tiny 691 invitations for the Subclass 489 Sponsored Visa. In total, 15,991 invitations were issued for the Subclass 189 and 489 Visas for the migration year of 2017-2018. The total number of visas granted isn’t yet known, but it will be greater than the invitations issued due to growing processing times.

These figures exclude the Subclass 190 State Sponsored Visa invitations that are explored in their own migration year analysis.

Patterns and Trends

Two clear trends emerge from Subclass 189 and 489 Visa data. The first is that the amount of invitations issued for the Subclass 189 Visa is substantially higher than the 489. As a percentage, the Subclass 189 Visa represents over 95% of invitations, with the Subclass 489 representing less than 5%. This trend is reflective of the specials conditions applicable to the Subclass 489 Visa; specifically family member sponsorship and the limited number of places offered by State and Territory governments.

A major trend that emerges from the graphs and table below is the slowing of Subclass 189 invitations issued from December 2017 to June 2018. A slowing of Subclass 489 Visas can also be seen from November 2017. The peak invitation level of 3500 in December is contrasted to June 2018, when just 300 Subclass 189 Visa invitations were issued. A 90% reduction in invitations which was preceded by a flat line issue of just 600 invitations for the Subclass 189 Visa from December 2017 through to May 2018.

The tightening of visa invitations also impacted the Subclass 489 Visa, suffering similar percentage declines. But, as the overall number was substantially less than the Subclass 189 Visa, the impact is less noticeable. Patterns across both visas demonstrate a clear decline of invitations issued.

189 Visa

Immigration Agent Perth

189 visa



The Minister for Home Affairs has not publicly addressed the decline of invitations. However, the Department has begun to apply a quota system against the highest demand occupations – accountants, IT sector and engineering professions – as well as raising the Points Level score required to be issued an Invitation. This increased the Points Level score of 60 in July 2017 to 75 in June 2018 for the Subclass 189 Visa and from 65 points to 80 points for the Subclass 489 Visa (see June 6 Invitation Round graph). The worst hit were accounting professionals seeking Subclass 189 Visas, having to achieve a score of 80 points to qualify for an invitation.


Bearing in mind that a range of factors go into the migration level planning process, the correlation between increased public commentary of a political nature and the tightening of invitations issued bares comparison when reviewing the Subclass 189 and Subclass 489 data presented.


Occupation ceilings do not apply to State or Territory Nominated, Employer Sponsored or Business Innovation and Investment visa subclasses.

*Occupations that are subject to pro rata arrangements. For accountants (2211), the occupational ceiling also reflects volumes in other skilled visa categories.

Occupation ceiling values are based on a percentage of stock employment figures for each occupation. Stock employment figures are provided by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and represent the number of people employed in Australia in each occupation.

Advice on 489 and 189 Visas in Australia

Australian migration law and visa requirements can be complex and confusing, especially with ongoing changes made by the Department. At Modern Migration Australia, our Perth-based migration agents provide personalised advice on 489 and 189 Visa requirements in Australia.

Chat with our experienced migration agents. Contact us on (08) 6555 7718.