Perhaps it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to the changes associated with the new Skillselect Visa Program with the Australian Immigration Department announcing that the Skilled Migration pass mark is to be reduced from 65 points.
From the 1st July 2012, the pass mark for the new SkillSelect visa subclasses 189, 190 and 489 will be 60 points. Intending migrants will first need to submit an expression of interest (EOI) and be invited to make an application for these visas.
A Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said the change to the pass mark was in the context of the series of reforms to the skilled migration program undertaken by the Australian Government since 2008.
“These reforms have ensured the skilled migration program is a responsive and demand driven program,” the spokesman said. “The cornerstone of this migration reform package will be the introduction of SkillSelect from July 1.”
SkillSelect is a new electronic service for managing the skilled migration program. Intending migrants without an employer sponsor wanting to live and work in Australia will need to complete an online EOI, then based on claims of their skills and attributes, will be allocated a score against the points test. SkillSelect will rank intending migrant’s scores against other EOIs.
The highest ranking migrants across a broad range of occupations may be invited to apply for a skilled visa.
“Delivery of a balanced migration program requires careful management,” the spokesman said. “SkillSelect will provide greater control over who can apply for a skilled visa and when they can apply.”
The previous pass mark was appropriate in the context of the skilled migration reforms, with a greater emphasis on employer-sponsored skilled migration and managing a growing pipeline of unsponsored skilled migration applications.
The pass mark for existing general skilled migration subclasses 175, 176, 475, 487, 885 and 886 will remain at 65 points.
The pass mark for the new SkillSelect visas will encourage a broader range of people with the skills and attributes needed in Australia to register their interest in migration.