12 November 2010

New Australian immigration points test to address Australia’s skill needs

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The Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, has announced a new points test to assess independent skilled migrants as part of the ongoing reform the skilled migration program.

Australian immigration

A new skilled points test will be introduced in July next year by Australian Immigration.

Mr Bowen said the new Skilled Points Test will emphasise the importance of English, work experience and high level qualifications, and is designed to ensure no one factor guarantees migration.

“These changes to the points test are an important next step in the series of reforms to the skilled migration program announced by the Government in February this year,” Mr Bowen said.

“The reforms set the foundations for a skilled migration program that will be responsive to our economic needs and continue to serve Australia’s interests in the medium to long term.”

The Australian Immigration minister said the new points test has been formulated following extensive public and stakeholder consultation, and research review.

The review found the existing points test led to a skewing of applications towards a small number of occupations and a growing pipeline of applicants waiting for a skilled Australian Visa.

Mr Bowen said the new points test will ensure we select the best and brightest people from a large pool of potential migrants.

It is important to note that the points test only applies to one component of the skilled migration program. Employer-sponsored visa categories are not affected by changes to the points test.

The new points test is proposed to take effect from 1 July 2011, subject to the commencement of supporting legislation. It will apply to anyone lodging an application from 1 July 2011.


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