On 11th November the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, announced the government’s intention to implement a new points test applying to certain skilled migration applications made on or after 1 July 2011.
The new points test will not apply to unfinalised applications lodged prior to 1 July 2011.
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. It was developed following a review of the current points test, which considered submissions from a variety of experts and the wider Australian community.
The new points test balances the different factors that are considered when determining whether someone will be granted a skilled migration visa. It will deliver the best and brightest skilled migrants by emphasising high level qualifications, better English language levels and extensive skilled work experience.
The new points test will continue to award points for study in Australia, including regional study, community languages, partner skills and completing an approved Professional Year. Points will no longer be awarded on the basis of an applicant’s occupation, but all applicants must still nominate an occupation on the applicable Skilled Occupation List.
Under the new points test, points will no longer be awarded on the basis of occupation. Applicants will still be required to nominate a skilled occupation and provide a satisfactory skills assessment from the relevant Australian assessment authority for that occupation.
The equal weighting of occupations will have the added benefit of not distorting the study choices of international students. For more information of the point test see: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/points-fact.pdf .
The Minister’s speech includes this statement: “Educating the future leaders of our regional partners can make an important contribution to our diplomatic efforts long into the future. The measures I’m announcing today strike the appropriate balance between recognising valuable overseas qualifications and encouraging study at Australian institutions.”
For the complete speech see: http://www.chrisbowen.net/media-centre/allNews.do?newsId=3889 .
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