No. 5 - May 2007
DETAILED UPDATE on the new changes in General Skilled Migration to Australia.
- NEW CHANGES
– GENERAL SKILLED MIGRATION
Many of you will be aware that in one of our previous newsletters we
announced some significant changes in relation to the selection criteria for
Skilled Migrants to Australia. These changes will apply to all applications
that will be submitted after September 1st 2007.
The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship have now provided
detailed guidance on the operation and interpretation of the new system.
We outline each of these changes.
At the moment, there are 15 different visa subclasses under
General Skilled Migration. The new system will reduce this to
9 subclasses by merging different subclasses.
Hopefully, this will make the new system easier to understand
and more uniform.
Under the new system, the points awarded for English language
ability will be 15 or 25 points, rather than the current
breakdown of 15 and 20 points.
Applicants who are passport holders from an English speaking
country should automatically be granted 15 points. However, to
score 25 points, applicants will need to sit an English
language test – such as I.E.L.T.S.
Test Centres for I.E.L.T.S. are located worldwide.
This is obviously a big change and will affect many
applicants. Whilst the opportunity to score more points for
English language will be welcome, the necessity to sit an
English language test, may be seen as overly burdensome on
native English speakers.
RECENT WORK EXPERIENCE
The recent work experience requirement will be uniform across all offshore
skilled visa subclasses. Applicants will be required to demonstrate skilled
work experience for at least 12 months in the 2 years immediately preceding
the lodgement of the visa application.
This will need to be for at least 20 hours per week in a paid position.
However, the 12 month period will not cover extended periods of leave
without pay, such as when the applicant is on unpaid maternity leave.
The current requirement for the Skilled Independent category is to have work
experience for 12 of the last 18 months.
(continued in the next column)
For further information on migration to Australia, please call
us on (+44) (0) 20 8365 3380 or complete an Online Assessment
form on our website www.commonwealthimmigration.com.
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