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.