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The contents of this article are correct as at 21 March.

From 1 March 2014, State or Territory Nominated visas (subclass 190) will no longer be subject to occupational ceiling limitations set by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (“DIBP”).

The minimum occupational ceilings for Independent Skilled visas (subclass 189) and Skilled Regional (Provisional visas) (subclass 489) has also been raised to 1000 potential nominations for each occupational group per year.

These changes are based on feedback as part of an evaluation conducted by DIBP in late 2013.

Please bear in mind that although the subclass 190 visa will no longer be subject to DIBP’s occupational ceiling, each State and Territory will still need to allocate its own yearly amount of nominations to fit within DIBP’s limit of overall nominations for each program year.

ICT Business and Systems Analysts (ANZSCO Code: 2611) will still be subject to pro rata arrangements due to high levels of interest from prospective migrants. For the 2013-2014 year, the ceiling for this occupation is 1380 and has been reached.

The highest occupational ceiling for this year is 13,560 for Registered Nurses (ANZSCO Unit Group: 2544) and the Immigration Department has issued 3075 invitations so far.

Occupational ceilings represent a challenge for prospective applicants and there is fierce competition for invitations in the context of limited places.

Prospective applicants should consider a number of strategies to maximise their chances of receiving an invitation and have regard to other immigration pathways that may be available to them.

If you have questions concerning this article, please feel free to contact us.