The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, The Honourable Chris Bowen MP, has today announced changes to the skilled migration points test which will come into effect on 1 July 2011. The new points test will apply to the following visas:
- Subclass 175: Skilled- Independent (Migrant) visa
- Subclass 176: Skilled-Sponsored (Migrant) visa
- Subclass 475: Skilled- Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa
- Subclass 487: Skilled- Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa
- Subclass 885: Skilled- Independent (Residence) visa
- Subclass 886: Skilled- Sponsored (Residence) visa
The new points test can be viewed here.
The new points test puts greater emphasis on applicants’ work experience and high level educational qualifications. Points will no longer be awarded for occupations under the new points test, however it is essential for applicants to nominate an occupation listed on the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
Notably, the age limit in applying for a skilled visa will increase from being under 45 to under 50. The tiered points system will change so that the 25-32 year old age group will receive the most points.
Under the new points test, points will continue to be awarded for completing an approved Professional year, study in Australia, study in a regional area, partner skills and community languages. Points will be available for demonstrating “superior” English language skills through obtaining an IELTS score of 8.0.
Anyone applying for skilled migration to Australia after 1 July 2010 will need to meet the passmark for the new points test. If you are eligible under the current points test, it may be prudent to apply for your visa soon.
This is general information only and does not constitute legal advice.
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