Comasters Law Firm and Notary Public | General Skilled Migration
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General Skilled Migration

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General Skilled Migration (“GSM”) is the category of migration which is best suited for those with skills in particular occupations which are required in Australia.

 

On 1 July 2012, a new GSM program came into effect. Applications from 1 July 2012 are made under new visa subclasses and assessed according to new requirements. These are the main changes to the GSM program.

 

Simplification of the Visa Structure

The GSM program has been restructured to reduce complexities in applications and allow applicants to more easily identify the appropriate visa subclass relevant to their circumstances. The six points test based skilled migration visa subclasses (175, 176, 475, 885, 886 and 487) was consolidated into three new visa subclasses:

  • Skilled Independent – permanent (subclass 189)
  • Skilled Nominated – permanent (subclass 190)
  • Skilled Regional – provisional (subclass 489)

 

Introduction of SkillSelect

SkillSelect is a new online service that was introduced on 1 July 2012. Intending migrants, both in and outside Australia will first need to submit an expression of interest (EOI) and then will need to be invited to apply for one of the new points tested skilled migration visas. An EOI is not an application for a visa. If you are invited to apply, you will have to demonstrate that the claims in your EOI are correct. Further information is available on www.skillselect.gov.au.

 

 

Points Test Requirements under SkillSelect

The three subclasses will continue to require intending migrants pass a points test to be invited to apply for a visa. However the difference is that the points will be based on the applicant’s attributes at the time of invitation rather than at the time of application lodgment or decision. Under SkillSelect, the ability to meet the points test mark will not guarantee an invitation to apply. Invitations will be issued periodically to the highest ranking expressions of interest subject to occupation ceilings.

 

Requirements

When a letter of invitation is sent, you must have:

 

Introduction of Validity Period for Skills
Assessments

From 1 July 2014, if a skills assessment is mandatory as part of a visa application, it will only be valid for a period of 3 years from the date of issue, unless a shorter validity period is specified on the assessment. A skills assessment must be valid at the time of invitation to apply through SkillSelect for the three GSM subclasses.

 

The Points

The pass mark is the minimum number of points required to be eligible for a points tested skilled migration visa and is subject to change in response to Australian labour market needs. The current pass mark for GSM is 60 points. The following is an overview of the points system detailing how points are calculated and accrued in several areas.

 

Age
  • 25 points awarded if applicant is aged between 18 and 24 at the time of application
  • 30 points awarded if applicant is aged between 25 and 32 at the time of application
  • 25 points awarded if applicant is aged between 33 and 39 at the time of application
  • 15 points awarded if applicant is aged between 40 and 44 at the time of application

 

English language points

Applicants require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6 (‘Competent’) in all four components of an IELTS exam. Bonus points are awarded to applicants who achieve English language scores above the threshold level:

  • 10 points awarded for ‘Proficient’ English
  • 20 points awarded for ‘Superior’ English.

 

The English language threshold is a basic requirement for GSM. If an applicant does not meet the prescribed threshold, they would not be eligible for a GSM visa. Note that an applicant may be required to sit an English language test.

 

Overseas Skill Employment

Points are awarded for overseas skilled employment in nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation at the time of invitation.

  • 15 points for at least eight and up to 10 years (of past 10 years) of employment
  • 10 points for at least five but less than eight years (of past 10 years) of employment
  • 5 points for at least three but less than five years (of past 10 years) of employment

 

Australian Work Experience

Points are also awarded for Australian skilled employment in nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation, at the time of invitation.

  • 15 points for at least five but less than eight years (of past 10 years) of employment
  • 10 points for at least five but less than eight years (of past 10 years) of employment
  • 5 points for at least one but less than three years (of past 10 years) of employment

 

Note that the maximum points awarded for any combination of overseas and Australian skilled employment is 20 points.

 

Educational Qualifications
  • 20 points for Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or other Doctorate of a recognised standard
  • 15 points for at least a Bachelor degree, including a Bachelor degree with Honours or Masters, from an Australian educational institution or other degree of a recognised standard
  • 10 points for a diploma completed in Australia, trade qualification completed in Australia, or qualification or award of recognised standard
  • 5 points for one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications awarded by an Australian educational institution and meet Australian Study Requirement

 

Other Factors at Time of Invitation
  • 5 points for credentialed community language qualification
  • 5 points for study in regional Australia or in a low population growth metropolitan area
  • 5 points for partner skill qualifications
  • 5 points for professional year completion, for a period of at least 12 months in which four year period immediately before the day on which the invitation was issued

 

Nomination at Time of Invitation
  • 10 points for nomination by State or Territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member, for residing and working in a specific/designated area (subclass 489 only)
  • 5 points for nomination by State or Territory government (subclass 190 only)

 

Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485)

The Temporary Graduate Visa enables graduates who have completed their studies in Australia while on a qualifying student visa, to live and work in Australia temporarily after they have finished their studies. The visa has two streams:

  • Graduate work stream – for international students who graduate with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List. A visa in this stream is granted for 18 months.
  • Post-Study work stream – for international students who graduate with an eligible qualification. This stream is only available to students who applied for and were granted their first student visa to Australia on or after 5 November 2011. A visa in this stream can be granted for up to four years, depending on the applicant’s qualification.

 

Eligibility

To be eligible graduates must:

  • Have completed their studies in Australia while on a qualifying student visa (subclass 572, 573 or 574).
  • Be in Australia
  • Be under 50 years of age
  • Have attained an eligible degree level qualification within six months of applying for this visa

 

Post-study work stream requires graduates of an Australian Bachelor degree (including honours), Masters by coursework degree, Masters (extended) degree, Masters by research degree or Doctoral degree, provided they meet the other eligibility requirements.

 

Australian study requirement

The Australian study requirement is defined as study in Australia in a course registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students for a period of at least two academic years. The course itself must be conducted in English and must be completed in no less than 16 months.

 

Pathway to Permanent Residence

As a Temporary Graduate Visa holder you can submit an EOI for a General Skilled Migration Visa at any time during the length of your visa, but you will need to be able to meet the requirements under SkillSelect.

 

Comasters is able to prepare a comprehensive application to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on behalf of clients.

© Comasters July 2014.

 

Important: This is not advice. Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this paper. Our formal advice should be sought before acting on any aspect of the above information.