Accountants have traditionally formed a large part of the Australia skilled migration numbers. The ANZSCO Unit Group 2211 includes:
- 221111 Accountant (General)
- 221112 Management Accountant
- 221113 Taxation Accountant
In previous years planning numbers allocated to accountants were approximately 5000 per programme year. However this was reduced by approximately 54% in the 2015-16 migration programme to 2525 places.
As a result places for accountants were quickly filled and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) announced that invitations to accountants will be issued in a pro rata arrangement.
The Points Required for Accountants are Going UP!
According to the latest invitation round (7 September 2015) results, accountants are only receiving Invitations to Apply (ITA) if:
- The application scored 70 points or more (65 points required in the previous round), and
- The application was lodged in August 2015 or earlier
Occupations in ANZSCO group 2212 – Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers will no longer receive ITAs in this programme year as the occupational ceiling has been met. This means that applicants within this group of nominated occupations will have to wait until at least next year to receive an ITA. A reminder to all that the Expression of Interest (EOI) will only be stored on the DIBP Skill Select system for 2 years. Will accountants get the same treatment?
What Can You Do if You are Migrating as an Accountant?
The main strategy will be to obtain as many points as possible to receive an ITA. There are a few ways to increase your points, such as:
- Taking English exams to achieve Superior English
- Completing a Professional Year in Australia
- Obtaining Australian Work Experience
- Completing a tertiary course from an institute that qualifies for Regional Study Points
- Obtaining State Sponsorship
Achieving English exam results at a Superior level will allow you to claim 20 points, versus 10 points for Proficient English. With the availability of other English exams (visit our blog here for all the options), you might be able to improve your English scores and meet Superior English requirements. To achieve Superior English you need to achieve the following:
An additional 5 points are available if you completed a Professional Year in Australia. These Professional Year courses are offered by the following organisations:
- Australian Computer Society
- CPA Australia
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia
- Institute of Public Accountants (formerly the National Institute of Accountants)
- Engineers Australia
You can find out more about the Professional Year at the organisations’ website
Australian Work Experience
If you have work experience in Australia you stand to gain 5 more points as compared to any overseas work experience that you are claiming, i.e. 3 years of work experience from overseas will give you 5 points, whereas 3 years of work experience in Australia will give you 10 points. This will be helpful if you are thinking about working in Australia under a temporary work visa and then consider General Skilled Migration at a later stage.
Regional Study Points
You can claim an additional 5 points (on top of the 5 points awarded for Australian studies) if your campus was located in a regional postcode. A list of regional Australia postcodes is available on the DIBP website (link). A note is that you must meet the Australian Study requirements to claim these points.
Applying for State Sponsorship
There has been a rush for state sponsorship or nomination to increase the points of an accountant’s application and gain a higher possibility to receive an ITA. The increased demand for state sponsorship has made state authorities increase the requirements for accountants to receive state sponsorship. Examples of such increased requirements include:
- In-field work experience
- The applicant was a graduate from the state/territory that is sponsoring, etc.
It is important to note that if you applied for a 489 Regional State Sponsorship you will receive 10 points in comparison to 5 points for a 190 State Sponsorship. It may be worth considering going Regional to obtain an ITA.
In summary accountants are looking at a longer timeframe before receiving an ITA to proceed with a visa application. If you are a student currently enrolled in an accounting course the pathway to a permanent visa after graduation looks to be increasingly difficult.
Comments by Chris Johnston – Principal Lawyer and Registered Migration Agent at Work Visa Lawyers
The points score required for accountants increased from 65 points in the earlier invitation round to 70 points in the last round. This means that accountants who have submitted an EOI are getting higher point scores either by scoring higher English test scores, or obtaining regional state sponsorship. This may be a good strategy for now but that will eventually increase the points score required to receive an ITA.
An alternative would be to consider other visa pathways such as employer sponsored visas (457, 186, 187) instead of waiting to receive an ITA under General Skilled Migration. A practical step would be to take up an internship or work experience during your studies for the following reasons:
- You gain local Australian work experience, which will help you in your job search when you graduate
- You expose yourself to Australian businesses that may be willing to sponsor you for a position when you complete your studies
What If I am planning to study in Australia now?
For students thinking about permanent residency after the completion of studies it may be better to study in a field other than accounting. Other industries to consider include Engineering or Nursing.
This information is accurate on 23 October 2015
Do you need help with an Australian visa application?
At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications, including state sponsorship applications. Our areas of expertise include Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas, Partner and other Family Migration visas as well as Migration Review Tribunal, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.
If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:
(08) 7225 5091 or +61 8 7225 5091