14 May 2007
Points mean prizes for visa hopefuls
Recently revealed changes to Australia’s points-based immigration process could see a wealth of new opportunities available to migrants looking to find work in Australia.
Scheduled to take effect on September 1st as part of the General Skilled Migration (GSM) re-vamp, the new changes feature significant alterations to Australia’s immigration points test system. These amendments include a point concession for those seeking certain types of Sponsored Visas and an introduction of the points test for those seeking temporary family member Regional Sponsored Visas.
The previous process for gaining the affected classes of Sponsored Visa required that applicants obtain a minimum of 110 points, while the temporary family member Regional Sponsored Visa was not included as part of the point-based system.
However, Visa Bureau’s sources indicate that the changes to the scheme will result in applicants to both visas requiring 100 points to qualify from September 1st, reflecting the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s (DIaC) commitment to providing a uniform migration process. Additionally, the pool mark for those types of Sponsored Visa will be adjusted accordingly to 80 points, meaning future hope for candidates who initially fail to qualify.
Further positive addendums to the scheme include a new clause allowing GSM applicants to include their same-sex partner in their application, as well as an extension of the English language concession (which is sure to be of benefit to English speaking Brits).
Despite these signs pointing towards easier Australian emigration, potential candidates for the skilled migration scheme should still lodge their applications as soon as possible, with DIaC having failed to provide registered migration agents with a release fully detailing the GSM changes meaning there could still be some unpleasant additions to the process on the horizon.
Chris Cook, spokesperson from the Australian Visa Bureau commented: “Without concrete information from the government, anyone hoping to move to Australia via the GSM programme should lodge their application as soon as possible for a smooth transition. While this new update certainly bodes well for hopeful candidates, those wishing to avoid the potential inconvenience that a large-scale bureaucratic shift often generates should ensure to start their application process as early as possible.”
Further information on changes to the Australian immigration will be reported by Visa Bureau as soon as they are received. Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by taking the online assessment to see if they meet the basic legislative requirements.