New Skilled Visa Points Test to be Introduced 1 July, 2011

Getting Down Under Australia

Australia Skilled Migration Points TestAs previous visitors to GDU may know, it is proposed that a new points test for skilled migration visa applications will be introduced on 1 July 2011. It complements the series of reforms the Australian Government announced in February 2010.

The new points test is focused on selecting highly skilled people to deliver a more responsive and targeted migration program and was developed following a review of the current points test, which considered submissions from a variety of experts and the wider Australian community.

The points test is a critical part of the Australian General Skilled Migration (GSM) process, as in order to lodge an Australian visa application, applicants must be able to demonstrate that they both meet the basic requirements and are able to pass the points test at the time of lodging their visa.

If you have already lodged your Australian visa application, the introduction of a new points test will not affect your application whatsoever.

The opinion held by Lauren Mennie, Casework Department Manager of the Australian Visa Bureau, is that, while many professionals stand a good chance of meeting the new points test criteria, it will be less favourable for certain tradespeople (e.g. individuals who haven’t completed a formal apprenticeship).

Commenting on the new points test, she stated: “It’s important to understand that there is still some degree of uncertainty attached to this announcement, as DIAC have yet to commit to certain aspects of the points test. For example, on their website, they say that ‘it is expected that the pass mark will be set at 65 points. but have not committed to this as the pass mark.”

“Additionally, they say that applicants with a Bachelor’s degree will be awarded a specific number of points, but it isn’t yet clear whether individuals with equivalent professional membership qualifications will also be awarded these points (as they are currently deemed comparable to a Bachelor’s according to the country education profiles) or if it will be very strict that only applicants with a Bachelor’s degree will be eligible to receive these points.”

“Therefore, without having these and other aspects of the new points test clarified, we are unable to definitively say what the exact rules will be and who will qualify upon its implementation on 1 July, 2011.”

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