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:
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.