General Skilled Migration points test

Here is the new GSM points test, will be using from 1 July 2011. There are exception, please see my previous blog.

- No point for occupation

- Age 18-24, got 25 points
- Age 25-32, got 30 points
- Age 33-39, got 25 points
- Age 40-44, got 15 points
- Age 45-49, no point but still eligible to apply...  :)

- English language, IELTS result 6 (6 x 4), got no point
- English language, IELTS result 7 (7 x 4), got 10 points
- English language, IELTS result 8 (8 x 4), got 20 points

- Australian employment, 1 year in the past 2 years before application, got 5 points
- Australian employment, 3 years in the past 5 years before application, got 10 points
- Australian employment, 5 years in the past 7 years before application, got 15 points

- Overseas employment, 3 years in the past 5 years before application, got 5 points
- Overseas employment, 5 years in the past 7 years before application, got 10 points
- Overseas employment, 8 years in the past 10 years before application, got 15 points

- Professional year, got 5 points

- Australian PhD or overseas PhD, got 20 points
- Australian Bachelor degree, or Bachelor + Masters/Honours, got 15 points
- Overseas Bachelor degree, or Bachelor + Masters/Honours, got 15 points
- Australian Diploma, got 10 points
- Australian Certificate III/IV, got 10 points
- Offshore apprenticeship, got 10 points

- Australian study requirement (2 years), got 5 points
- Community language skills, got 5 points
- Regional study, got 5 points
- Partner skills, got 5 points
- State or Territory Nomination, got 5 points
- Designated area sponsorship, got 5 points

The pass mark is 65

New Points Test for General Skilled Migration (GSM) Announced

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Honourable Chris Bowen MP, has announced the new Points Test for General Skilled Migration (GSM) on 11 Nov 2010.

Designed to complement the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) that came into effect on 1 July, the Points Test is "proposed to take effect from 1 July 2011, subject to passage of supporting legislation through the Parliament. It will apply to anyone lodging an application from 1 July 2011."

The new points test will not apply to unfinalised applications lodged prior to 1 July 2011.

The new points test will not change the generous transitional arrangement in place until 31 Dec 2012 for former international students.

Amongst its features:
  • Distinction between 40/50/60 point occupations abolished, those points removed from test
  • Age points adjusted to reflect productive working years rather than youth
  • Additional 10 point differential introduced for “Superior English” language ability (IELTS 8)
  • Additional points for extended periods of employment in Australia
  • Additional points for longer periods of professional experience generally
  • Considerable additional points for university graduates, particularly for applicants with PhDs
  • Relative advantages of trade and degree qualified occupations have been reversed
  • Regional nomination and family sponsorship points reduced
  • No indication of difference between independent and sponsored pass marks at this stage
  • Pass mark of 65

Sponsored Family Visitor Applications for 2010-2011 Holiday Period

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has advised that potential Sponsored Family Visitor (Subclass 679) visa applicants hoping to come to Australia during the December 2010 / January 2011 holiday period should lodge by Friday 6 November if possible to avoid backlogs due to a high volume of applications during this time.
While DIAC will continue to accept applications after 6 November 2010, it is strongly recommended that applications are lodged prior to this date. Applications seeking approval for travel in compelling or compassionate circumstances will continue to be prioritised, regardless of the date of lodgement.

same-sex relationship registration in NSW


The NSW Relationships Register commenced operation 1 July 2010. It provides legal recognition for a couple, regardless of their sex, by registration of the relationship.

Who is eligible to register a relationship?

Adults who are in a relationship as a couple, regardless of sex, can apply for registration of their relationship, provided at least one of them lives in NSW. Adults in both heterosexual and same-sex relationships are eligible to register.
People under 18 years old are not eligible.
A relationship cannot be registered if either person is:
  • married,
  • in another registered relationship,
  • in a relationship as a couple with another person, or
  • if they are related by family.
A couple does not have to live together to be eligible to register their relationship.

Be Wary Of Migration Scams

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today warned prospective migrants and visa applicants to Australia to be wary of migration scammers.
'It is vital that people are aware of fraudsters' tricks before handing over money for immigration assistance which is never provided,' Mr Bowen said.

'This is why the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has launched a new online consumer protection resource to help people to learn about migration scams online and safeguard against scams.
'The Protect Yourself from Migration Fraud information kit includes victims' stories, tips to stay safe online, information on how to identify non-genuine websites and fraudulent emails, links to consumer resources and a video testimonial.'

The information kit has been developed following an increase in complaints about internet migration scams, which often appear to be official Australian Government websites.
'A common tactic of these sites is the use of language such as 'registered provider' or 'Australian visa application service',' Mr Bowen said.

'They claim that they can 'guarantee' a visa, this is a 'once in a lifetime opportunity' or it is your 'only chance' to travel or migrate to Australia.'
In the most prevalent scam, clients are invited to register online before a salesperson contacts them and asks them to provide credit card details. Charges are then debited to their card despite no migration service being provided.

Migration fraud involves illegal operators posing as migration professionals. In Australia, migration agents must be registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.
People with information about migration scams or illegal operators should telephone DIAC's Dob-In Line or visit the DIAC website.
Telephone: 1800 009 623

Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) and Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visas

From 21 August 2010, the Migration Regulations will be amended to make changes in relation to Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) and Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visas.
The amendments will prevent a person who has previously been in Australia as the holder of a Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa from applying for a Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visa, and will provide that Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa applicants cannot be accompanied by dependent children (except applicants who are members of a class of persons specified by the Minister in an instrument in writing).

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lodging online GSM applications before 1 July 2010

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has advised that any online GSM visa applications made before 1 July 2010 should be made well before 6:00pm Wednesday 30 June 2010.

This is because the implementation of the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and other department system changes are likely to cause a systems outage.

New SOL from 1 July 2010

New List of Skilled Occupations Intended to Replace the Current Skilled Occupation List
It is intended that this list of occupations will form the new Skilled Occupation List, proposed to come into effect from 1 July 2010.

ANZSCO Code          Corresponding occupation

133111 Construction project manager
133112 Project builder
133211 Engineering manager
134111 Child Care centre manager
134211 Medical administrator
134212 Nursing clinical director
134213 Primary health organisation manager
134214 Welfare centre manager
221111 Accountant (general)
221112 Management accountant
221113 Taxation accountant
221213 External auditor
221214 Internal auditor
224111 Actuary
224511 Land economist
224512 Valuer
231212 Ship's engineer
231213 Ship's master
231214 Ship's officer
232111 Architect
232112 Landscape architect
232211 Cartographer
232212 Surveyor
232611 Urban and regional planner
233111 Chemical engineer
233112 Materials engineer
233211 Civil engineer
233212 Geotechnical engineer
233213 Quantity surveyor
233214 Structural engineer
233215 Transport engineer
233311 Electrical engineer
233411 Electronics engineer
233511 Industrial engineer
233512 Mechanical engineer
233513 Production or plant engineer
233611 Mining engineer (excluding petroleum)
233612 Petroleum engineer
233911 Aeronautical engineer
233912 Agricultural engineer
233913 Biomedical engineer
233914 Engineering technologist
233915 Environmental engineer
233916 Naval architect
234111 Agricultural consultant
234112 Agricultural scientist
234113 Forester
234211 Chemist
234611 Medical laboratory scientist
234711 Veterinarian
241111 Early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher
241411 Secondary school teacher
241511 Special needs teacher
241512 Teacher of the hearing impaired
241513 Teacher of the sight impaired
241599 Special education teachers nec
251211 Medical diagnostic radiographer
251212 Medical radiation therapist
251213 Nuclear medicine technologist
251214 Sonographer
251411 Optometrist
251412 Orthoptist
252111 Chiropractor
252112 Osteopath
252311 Dental specialist
252312 Dentist
252411 Occupational therapist
252511 Physiotherapist
252611 Podiatrist
252711 Audiologist
252712 Speech pathologist
253111 General medical practitioner
253211 Anaesthetist
253311 Specialist physician
253312 Cardiologist
253313 Clinical haematologist
253314 Clinical oncologist
253315 Endocrinologist
253316 Gastroenterologist
253317 Intensive care specialist
253318 Neurologist
253321 Paediatrician
253322 Renal medicine specialist
253323 Rheumatologist
253324 Thoracic medicine specialist
253399 Internal medicine specialist nec
253411 Psychiatrist May 2010 Page 2 of 4
253511 Surgeon (general)
253512 Cardiothoracic surgeon
253513 Neurosurgeon
253514 Orthopaedic surgeon
253515 Otorhinolaryngologist
253516 Paediatric surgeon
253517 Plastic and reconstructive surgeon
253518 Urologist
253521 Vascular surgeon
253911 Dermatologist
253912 Emergency medicine specialist
253913 Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
253914 Ophthalmologist
253915 Pathologist
253916 Radiologist
253999 Medical practitioners nec
254111 Midwife
254411 Nurse Practitioner
254412 Registered nurse (aged care)
254413 Registered nurse (Child and Family Health)
254414 Registered nurse (community health)
254415 Registered nurse (critical care and emergency)
254416 Registered nurse (development disability)
254417 Registered nurse (disability and rehabilitation)
254418 Registered nurse (medical)
254421 Registered nurse (medical practice)
254422 Registered nurse (mental health)
254423 Registered nurse (perioperative)
254424 Registered nurse (surgical)
254499 Registered nurse
261111 ICT business analyst
261112 Systems analyst
261311 Analyst programmer
261312 Developer programmer
261313 Software engineer
263311 Telecommunications engineer
263312 Telecommunications network engineer
272311 Clinical psychologist
272312 Educational psychologist
272313 Organisational psychologist
272314 Psychotherapist
272399 Psychologists nec
272511 Social worker
312211 Civil engineer draftsperson
312212 Civil engineer technician
312311 Electrical engineer draftperson
312312 Electrical engineer technician
313211 Radiocommunications technician
313212 Telecommunications field engineer
313213 Telecommunications network planner
313214 Telecommunications technical officer or technologist
321111 Automotive electrician
321211 Motor mechanic (general)
321212 Diesel motor mechanic
321213 Motorcycle mechanic
321214 Small engine mechanic
322211 Sheetmetal trades worker
322311 Metal Fabricator
322312 Pressure Welder
322313 Welder (first class)
323111 Aircraft maintenance engineer (avionics)
323112 Aircraft maintenance engineer (mechanical)
323113 Aircraft maintenance engineer (structures)
323313 Locksmith
324111 Panelbeater
324311 Vehicle painter
331111 Bricklayer
331112 Stonemason
331211 Carpenter and Joiner
331212 Carpenter
331213 Joiner
332211 Painting trades workers
333111 Glazier
333211 Fibrous plasterer
333212 Solid plasterer
333411 Wall and floor tiler
334111 Plumber (general)
334112 Airconditioning and mechanical services plumber
334113 Drainer
334114 Gasfitter
334115 Roof plumber
341111 Electrician (general)
341112 Electrician (special class)
341113 Lift mechanic
342111 Airconditioning and refrigeration mechanic
342211 Electrical linesworker
342212 Technical cable jointer
342313 Electronic equipment trades worker
342314 Electronic instrument trades worker (general)
342315 Electronic instrument trades worker (special class)
411211 Dental Hygienist
411212 Dental Prosthetist
411213 Dental technician
411214 Dental therapist

new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) for General Skilled Migration (GSM)

DIAC has announced a new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) for General Skilled Migration (GSM). The new SOL does apply for non-GSM visas, such as ENS, RSMS or Subclass 457.
This is proposed to commence 1 July 2010.
The new list comprises 181 occupations. The old SOL had 408.
The new SOL is based on ANZSCO (Australian & New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) and not ANSCO (Australian Standard Classification of Occupations).
Some of the occupations which are no longer on the SOL include: Cook, chef, Hairdresser, Pharmacist, Graphic Designer.
Some of the retained occupations include: Accountant, Architect, Engineers, medical professionals, Motor Mechanic, and many building trades.
The new SOL does not apply to GSM applicants who, on 8 February 2010:
  • Held a Subclass 485 (skilled graduate) visa or had a pending subclass 485 visa application; and who
  • Apply for a permanent or provisional onshore GSM visa by 31 December 2012; or at the date of the announcement had a pending GSM visa application.
Transitional arrangements will apply to international students who, on 8 February 2010:
  • Held a subclass 572 (vocational education and training sector), subclass 573 (higher education sector); or
  • Held a subclass 574 (postgraduate research sector) student visa.
These students can apply for a subclass 485 (skilled graduate) visa using the current SOL as long as they lodge their subclass 485 application by 31 December 2012.
As the new SOL is based on ANZSCO, the names of occupations and tasks associated with occupations need to be carefully checked.

Suspension of Offshore General Skilled Migration

The Minister has today announced a temporary suspension of certain general skilled migration visas. The move hopes to ensure that all offshore general skilled applications made after today are in accordance with the occupations included on the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL), to be released later this month. The Minister has not indicated when the suspension will be lifted, however it will be no earlier than the announcement of the new SOL.
The Minister has announced that his Department will not accept applications for the following visa subclasses from 8 May 2010 until further notice:
  • Subclass 175 – Skilled Independent;
  • Subclass 176 – Skilled Sponsored; and
  • Subclass 475 – Skilled Regional Sponsored.
Therefore, any applications received by the Department after 8 May 2010 for one of the above visa subclasses will be returned and the visa application charge refunded.
Please note that this suspension does not affect onshore general skilled migration visas

New administrative arrangements to meet the health requirement when you make your onshore GSM application – 22 March 2010

Applicants for an onshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa must show evidence at the time they make their application, that they have made arrangements to undergo a medical examination.
From 22 March 2010, applicants for an onshore GSM visa need only obtain a reference number from Medibank Health Solutions to meet the time of application health requirement. Applicants should phone Medibank Health Solutions and state that they are applying for a GSM visa and request a reference number. This reference number must then be provided as evidence as part of their GSM application.
Note: Applicants must ensure that they retain a copy of this reference number.
Applicants will be requested to undertake a medical examination by their case officer at a later date.
Applicants who have already applied for GSM and have either made a booking for a medical examination or undertaken their medical examination, do not need to obtain a reference number.

Changes to the time of provision of evidence of English language ability

There are new arrangements for the provision of evidence for English language ability. Applicants for the following GSM subclasses have until the time of decision to provide evidence of their English language ability.
  • Skilled – Independent (Residence) visa (subclass 885)
  • Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) visa (subclass 886)
  • Skilled – Independent (Migrant) visa (subclass 175)
  • Skilled – Sponsored (Migrant) visa (subclass 176)
  • Skilled – Provisional (Regional Sponsored) visa (subclass 475)
  • Skilled – Provisional (Recognised Graduate) visa (subclass 476)
  • Skilled – Provisional (Graduate) visa (subclass 485) (where the application was made on or after 27 October 2008).
Applicants should not delay in providing their evidence of English language ability. The department will not delay finalising applications where English language test results have not been provided at time of application. Applicants will have 28 days from the date of application to provide their English language results if they did not provide them at time of application. At this point in time, if evidence has not been provided the application will be refused.
There is no change in the requirements for Skilled – Provisional (Graduate) visa (subclass 485) where the application was made before 27 October 2008 or the Skilled Provisional (Regional Sponsored) visa (subclass 487). The applicant must either provide evidence of English language ability at time of application or provide evidence that they have made a booking to undertake an English language test

Changes to the citizenship residence requirement on 1 July 2010

The general residence requirement is one of the eligibility criteria you must meet to apply for Australian citizenship. The residence requirement is specified in the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.
It is based on the length of time:
  • you have lawfully lived in Australia
  • you have spent outside Australia
  • you have been a permanent resident
From 1 July 2010 all citizenship applicants will need to meet this residence requirement at the time they apply for Australian citizenship.
  • You must have been living in Australia on a valid Australian visa for 4 years immediately before applying, including 1 year as a permanent resident, and
  • You must not have been absent from Australia for more than 1 year during the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days in the year immediately before applying.

fake marriages... don't do it...

Fake marriages for migration purposes have always been a problem for governments, including the Australian government and here are some stories from overseas.

Amendments to Parent Category Visas

To apply from 27 March 2010, amended to better align the Regulations with objectives of family stream policy:
  • Allow certain spouses, de factos, dependent children and family members to be added to applications for Contributory Parent visas between lodgement and approval;
  • Permit certain applicants for Subclass 143 – Contributory Parent visas to be in or outside Australia, but not in immigration clearance when the visa is granted;
  • Enable certain applicants for Subclass 864 – Contributory Aged Parent visas to remain eligible even if sponsoring child has died;
  • Change decision criteria for a Subclass 864 – Contributory Aged Parent visa to ensure applicants who have held a substituted Subclass 676 visa can continue to meet the time of application criteria at the time of decision;
  • Enable certain applicants for parent visas who are parents of children under 18 to be sponsored by 'relative' of the child or 'relative' of the child's spouse rather than a 'close relative'; 
  • Take measures to reduce potential abuse of the Subclass 804 – Aged Parent visa

Skill assessment of trade occupation (pre 1 Jan 2010)

Effective from 12 March 2010, this change regards onshore applicants for General Skilled Migration who are nominating a trade occupation in the following subclasses:
  • Subclass 487 (Skilled - Regional Sponsored)
  • Subclass 885 (Skilled - Independent)
  • Subclass 886 (Skilled - Sponsored)
All applicants applying for the above visas and who nominate a trade occupation will be able to use an existing suitable skills assessment to lodge a valid visa application. That means that a skills assessment which pre-dates 1 January 2010 can be used.

Changes introduced on 1 January 2010 had required these applicants to provide a skills assessment dated on or after 1 January 2010. This is no longer the case.

Business Skills Visas for 2009/10 Financial Year

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has issued a new Legislative Instrument which imposes a cap of 6530 on the number Class EA and Class UR Business Skills visas that may be granted in the 2009/2010 financial year.
The affected visa subclasses are:
Class EA
132 Business Talent (Migrant)
Class UR
160 Business Owner (Provisional)
161 Senior Executive (Provisional)
162 Investor (Provisional)
163 State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional)
164 State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive (Provisional)
165 State/Territory Sponsored Investor (Provisional)
This legislative Instrument is effective from 18 March 2010.
The granting of these business visas has not yet stopped, as 6530 visas have not yet been granted, but that number could be reached at any time.

Once 6530 of these business visas have been granted, no more will be granted until after 30 June 2010.

using your prior 1 Jan 2010 skill assessment

The department understands that there is some concern among international students and stakeholders regarding the amendments introduced on 1 January 2010 to support the commencement of the Job Ready Program (JRP). These amendments require certain GSM applicants who nominate a trade occupation to provide a skills assessment dated on or after 1 January 2010 in order to make a valid application.

It is intended that in the future (don't know when.... we will just have to wait for announcement or confirmation), applicants nominating a trade occupation for permanent migration will be able to provide an existing skills assessment when applying. This includes assessments predating 1 January 2010 and will mean that applicants will no longer be required to obtain a further skills assessment. It is intended that these arrangements commence in the first quarter of 2010.

Changes to Priority Processing

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has set new priority processing arrangements for certain skilled migration visas. The current priority processing began on 8 February 2010. The changes apply to applications that have not been finalised, and to applications lodged with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on or after 8 February 2010.

- The new priority processing arrangements which apply to the following visas from 8 February 2010:
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
  • General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas
- The following processing priorities (with highest priority listed first) apply:
  • Applications from people who are employer sponsored under the ENS and the RSMS.
  • Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency under a state migration plan agreed to by the minister 
  • Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency and whose nominated occupation is on the Critical Skills List (CSL).
  • Applications from people who are neither nominated nor sponsored in priority groups 1, 2 or 3, but whose nominated occupation is listed on the CSL.
  • Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL.
  • (a)Applications from people whose occupations are listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL).
    (b) Aplications from people who are sponsored by family and whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL.
  • All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.
- The following visa subclasses are exempt from priority processing:
  • Skilled—Recognised Graduate (subclass 476)
  • Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485)
  • Skilled—Designated Area—Sponsored (Residence, subclass 883)
  • Skilled—Regional (subclass 887).
Applications for these visa subclasses will be processed in the order in which they are received

- The priority processing arrangements are designed to ensure that the Australian economy gets the skills it needs now, rather than those of visa applicants who applied first. It helps to better address the needs of industry by targeting skills in critical need across a number of sectors, and is one of the measures used to ensure that the skilled migration program is responsive to the current economic climate and the needs of the Australian economy.

- The changes took effect from 8 February 2010 and apply to applications lodged with the department on or after this date. The changes also apply to applications that had been lodged previously with the department and have not been finalised.

- Priority processing applies to onshore and offshore applications equally. However, processing times between the two can vary.

- The new arrangements apply to all visa applications, including those in the final stages of processing. Applications in lower priority groups cannot be processed further until those in higher priority groups are finalised.

- If you are not nominated by a state or territory government in accordance with an approved state migration plan, or your nominated occupation is not on the CSL and you have applied for an offshore GSM visa or intend to apply for an offshore GSM visa, it is unlikely that your application will be finalised within 3 years of the date of the application. If you are not nominated by a state or territory government in accordance with an approved state migration plan or your nominated occupation is not on the CSL and you applied for an onshore GSM visa or intend to apply for an onshore GSM visa, it is unlikely that your visa will be finalised within 3 years of the date of the application. Your ‘nominated occupation’ is the occupation you nominated at the time you lodged your application and it cannot be changed.

- There are options if your application is unlikely to be finalised by the end of 2012 and you have applied for an onshore visa:
  • continue to live and work in Australia (if your visa permits) while you await a decision on your visa application
  • consider your eligibility for an employer sponsored visa, or a nomination by a state/territory government under a state migration plan
  • apply for another visa
  • withdraw your application and return to your home country. Please note, if you choose to withdraw your application you will not be entitled to a refund of your Visa Application Charge (VAC).
- Accountants who have scored a minimum of 7.0 (Proficient English) in all four components of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test are eligible for priority processing under the CSL. All accountants, including those who hold a current British, American, Canadian, New Zealand or Republic of Ireland passport must present an IELTS test result of at least 7.0 in each test component if they wish to receive priority processing.

For an accountant, If you have already met the time of application criteria (by holding an eligible passport or you have IELTS 6.0) and now wish to submit an IELTS test to access priority processing, you may submit the results from an IELTS test undertaken after you lodged your application. You will only be eligible for priority processing under the CSL once you provide evidence of your ‘proficient English’ IELTS results to the department.

- If you are a computing professional with a specialisation on the Migration Occupation in Demand List, you are eligible for priority processing in the order outlined at question two, that is, they receive the fourth highest priority.

- Priority processing arrangements do not apply to Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485) visa applicants from 8 February 2010. These applications will be processed in the order in which they are received. This includes applications that have been partially assessed and those in the final stages of processing.

- Compensation is not available for delays in processing.

    Outcomes of the MODL review

    Lots of people interested in the outcomes of the MODL review. Here is the summary:
    • A review of the Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL) was conducted due to concerns that it was not supporting the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program to meet Australia’s medium to long-term future skill needs. Findings of the review showed that the MODL was not effective in delivering a GSM program that meets the future skill needs of the Australian labour market. A number of  stakeholders participating in the review supported these findings.

    • On 8 February 2010 the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, announced the revocation of the MODL from 8 February 2010. This change applies to all GSM applicants except those who,
      at the date of announcement, hold a Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485) visa, or had a pending subclass 485 visa application and had not yet lodged an application for a provisional or permanent GSM visa and who make an application by 31 December 2012, or have a pending GSM visa application. Revocation of MODL does not affect applicants sponsored by an Australian employer.

    • MODL being revoked without warning because the outcomes of the review need to be implemented as quickly as possible in order for the GSM program to provide the necessary skills required for the Australian labour market.

    • There will not be a new MODL. Applicants planning to claim additional points for an occupation on MODL to meet the Points Test passmark should consider other options for additional points, for
      example, improving their English language score.

    • Applicants who lodged a GSM application before 8 February 2010 will not be affected by the revocation of the MODL.

    • Applicants who made an application for a GSM visa before 8 February 2010 will be eligible to claim MODL points (subject to meeting the employment/job offer requirements) if their nominated occupation was on the MODL at the time they lodged their application.

    • The MODL was revoked on 8 February 2010. This means that if you lodge your application after this date you will not be able to claim MODL points. MODL points can be claimed by people, who at 8 February 2010 are; holders of a subclass 485 visa granted before 8 February 2010, applicants for a subclass 485 visa lodged before 8 February 2010, or applicants for a GSM visa lodged before 8 February 2010. These applicants must lodge their GSM application by 31 December 2012.
    International students should not make educational choices solely on the basis of hoping to achieve a
    particular migration outcome. The GSM program will continue to change and adapt to Australia’s economic

    People who wish to study in Australia may be granted a student visa that entitles them to come to Australia on
    a temporary basis for a specified period to undertake study at an Australian educational institution. While
    many overseas students make a decision to apply for permanent residence upon completing their studies, this
    is an entirely separate process and there is no guarantee that, on the basis of having held a student visa, a person will meet the requirements to be granted permanent residence.

    It is important to note that student visas are aimed at achieving an educational outcome. GSM on the other
    hand is predominantly driven by the labour market needs of Australia. The criteria for grant of GSM visas can change in response to the changing economic circumstances of Australia. All applicants seeking to be granted a permanent GSM visa must meet the relevant criteria set out in the migration legislation, regardless of whether or not they have previously been in Australia. It is important for student visa holders to note that any changes to the criteria for the grant of a GSM visa.

    Removal of MODL

    The revocation of the current MODL will not affect those who at 8 February 2010:
    • hold a Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485) visa, or have a pending subclass 485 visa application and are yet to apply for a permanent or provisional General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa, or
    • have a pending GSM visa application.
    Applicants who lodged a GSM application before 8 February 2010 are not affected by the revocation of MODL.
    The legislative instrument specifies a new Migration Occupation in Demand List which is for applicants for
    - Subclass 885 Skilled – Independent,
    - Subclass 886 Skilled – Sponsored
    - Subclass 487 Skilled – Regional Sponsored visas who:
    i) held a Subclass 485 Skilled – Graduate visa at the date of commencement of this instrument; or
    ii) had made an application for a Subclass 485 Skilled – Graduate visa that is not finally determined at the date of commencement of this instrument;
    and who made their application on or before 31 December 2012.

    It is, of course, still possible to lodge a GSM application now, but MODL points are not now available for new applications.

    Changes to General Skilled Migration program

    Changes to General Skilled Migration program

    Minister Evans has today announced significant changes to the General Skilled Migration Program.

    The major changes involve:
    • The Migration Occupation in Demand List is abolished as of today, 8 February 2010.

    • Offshore GSM applications lodged before 1 September 2007 and not finalised will no longer be dealt with and those affected applicants will be given a refund of their visa application fee. This does not apply to onshore applicants... :) This will affect about 20,000 applicants.

    • A new Skilled Occupation List, to replace the MODL and the Critical Skills List will be introduced later in 2010

    • There will be a review of the Points Test

    • Changes to priority processing

    TRA Skills Assessment Update: Stage 1, the Provisional Skills Assessment

    TRA Skills Assessment Update: Stage 1, the Provisional Skills Assessment

    The full details of the four stages of the Job Ready Program are still being finalised by TRA, and a fuller report of these will be available as soon as further clarification from TRA as been receive. Some details about Stage 1, the Provisional Skills Assessment, are:

    • Amount of work experience: two days per week for six months. TRA will be flexible about this and look at it on a case-by-case basis. It could be work on a regular basis or in holiday periods.
    • Work as part of a course (for example, industry placement) can be counted towards the requirement, providing it is in a commercial environment.
    • Overseas work experience does not count – must be in an Australian workplace.
    • Unpaid work can be counted, providing this was legally conducted.
    • Level of work experience expected is at about the 1st/2nd year apprentice level. For example, work as a kitchen hand may be counted for a skills assessment as a cook. A range and variety of tasks is the important thing.
    • IELTS results up to 2 years old can be submitted.
    • For old system TRA assessments, you would provide the old assessment and IELTS results. In this case, you would lodge electronically and the fee would be waived

    more detail is coming real soon... keep your eyes open... :)

    Trades Recognition Australia (TRA): Job Ready Program

    From 1 January 2010 TRA has a new skills assessment program, the Job Ready Program. The Job Ready Program is a four step process, and all four of the steps must be completed to satisfy the Job Ready Program.

    Step 1 - Apply for a Provisional Skills Assessment

    A successful outcome will enable you to apply to DIAC for a 485 skilled graduate temporary visa.

    TRA says the requirements for this Provisional Skills Assessment are similar to the previous TRA skills assessment process.

    To be eligible to apply for a Provisional Skills Assessment you must:

    • hold a valid visa
    • hold an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification in an occupation assessed by TRA
    • have an IELTS score of at least 6 in each of the four bands of the IELTS test (or hold a valid passport from and are a citizen of the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, New Zealand, United States of America (USA), Republic of Ireland
    • pay the AUD $300.00 Provisional Skills Assessment Fee
    • have relevant work experience performed in Australia that demonstrates a range of tasks and duties of the occupation you are qualified in.

    Supporting documentation required include a statement from your employer about your work experience in Australia over at least six months. The statement must detail the occupation in which you were employed; exact periods of employment; and a description of the nature and content of your work along with the machines, tools and equipment used.

    Step 2 - Complete the Job Ready Employment

    On a 485 visa you will have 18 months to complete the required 12 months of full time employment that will enable you to gain more skills and experience in an Australian workplace. You will also gain valuable training in Australian workplace culture and language.

    Compliance with this step will include Employer Registration, an Employment Contract and a Workplace Log.

    Step 3 - Complete a Job Ready Workplace Assessment

    You will have an opportunity to demonstrate your trade skills in the workplace to a TRA approved assessor.

    Step 4 - Apply for a Job Ready Final Assessment

    You will have collected all the evidence required during Steps 1 to 3 to apply for a final assessment which can be used as the skills assessment required to apply for permanent migration.

    To gain a successful skills assessment as an onshore applicant with a trade qualification to enable you to apply to DIAC for a residence visa, you must successfully complete all four steps of the Job Ready Program. See the overview

    This would seem to mean that onshore GSM applicants for Subclass 885, 886 and 487 visas who nominate a trade occupation must first apply for a Subclass 485 visa.

    Offshore: Skills assessment changes from 1 January 2010

    This "skill assessment" changes will affect the "offshore" applicant as well.

    Applicants for a
    • Skilled – Independent (Subclass 175),
    • Skilled – Sponsored (Subclass 176) or
    • Skilled - Regional Sponsored (Subclass 475) visa,
    who nominate a trade occupation, must have worked in the skilled occupation for at least 12 months in the period of 24 months ending immediately before the day on which the application was made. See more on changes

    same sex partner, as a dependent family member to student visa holder

    I got an email asking me about same sex partner, who want to bring a partner to Australia. Since 1 July 2009, for the immigration purposes, there is no different between same sex partner or opposite sex partner. As some countries still not allowed the same sex marriage (Australia as well), if that partner have been living together for more than 1 year, then that couple is considered to be a "de facto" partner.

    Partner can apply to get a visa to Australia as a "family member". There are 2 ways to doing this:
    • apply at the same time, in one application with student visa
    • apply separately, while student is in Australia
    Personally, I recommend to lodge the application at the same time, that is to save cost and less paperwork to deal with.

    Don't worry if the partner is different surname... or whatever. As long as you have enough evidence to show that you are in "de facto" relationship. The evidences can be a photo, join bank account or bill that come to the same address...etc...

    And of course, the partner can work while s/he stay here as well... :)