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.
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:
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.
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.
When a letter of invitation is sent, you must have:
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 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.
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:
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.
Points are awarded for overseas skilled employment in nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation at the time of invitation.
Points are also awarded for Australian skilled employment in nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation, at the time of invitation.
Note that the maximum points awarded for any combination of overseas and Australian skilled employment is 20 points.
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:
To be eligible graduates must:
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.
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.
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.