Applicants for an Australian visa will soon face a range of new eligibility criteria, it was revealed yesterday.
From July 2011, wannabe Australian migrants applying under any of the skilled visa streams will have to pass a new points-based test designed to target migrants more closely suited to Australia’s needs.
According to Australia’s immigration department, the changes will “focus on better English language skills, more extensive skilled work experience, higher level qualifications obtained in Australia and overseas and different age ranges.”
“These changes to the points test are an important next step in the series of reforms to the skilled migration program announced by the Government in February this year,” Australia Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said.
“The reforms set the foundations for a skilled migration program that will be responsive to our economic needs and continue to serve Australia’s interests in the medium to long term.”
Bowen said the old test did not effectively target the best and brightest for Australian immigration.
“The existing points test has not always led to outcomes consistent with the objectives of the skilled migration program… For example, the current test puts an overseas student with a short term vocational qualification and one year’s work experience in Australia ahead of a Harvard educated environmental engineer with three years’ relevant work experience,” he said.