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New skilled migration points test – transitional arrangements

The contents of this article are correct as at 27 June 2011.

On 1 July 2011 a new points test will come into force for a number of skilled migration visa applications.  The new points test includes new points factors (see our article dated 9 June 2011) and a new pass mark of 65 points.

It should be noted that while the 1 July 2011 points test is lower that the current points test (which is 120 points), it is likely to be more difficult to achieve, given the more stringent points test factors.

Some applicants will be eligible for transitional arrangements when applying for a points tested skilled migration visa after this date.These applicants can rely on the points factors in force on 8 February 2010 and the pass mark of 120 points.

 

Transitional arrangements for points tested skilled migration apply if the applicant:

  • held a Skilled Graduate (Subclass 485) visa on 8 February 2010; or
  • made a valid application for a Skilled - Graduate (Subclass 485) visa on or before 8 February 2010.

Abovementioned applicants can apply for the following visas using the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) in force on 8 February 2010 (this SOL is known as Schedule 2):

  • Subclass 885 Skilled - Independent

  • Subclass 886 Skilled - Sponsored

  • Subclass 487 Skilled Regional – Sponsored

If an applicant’s nominated skilled occupation is listed on both the new SOL (this SOL is known as Schedule 3) and the SOL in force on 8 February 2010, the applicant will be assessed as follows:

  1. The applicant will first be assessed under the points test in force on 8 February 2010
  2. If the applicant does not meet the pass mark for that points test, the application will be assessed under the points test in force on the date the application is lodged.

If an applicant’s nominated skilled occupation is listed only on the SOL in force on the date of lodgement, the application will only be assessed against the points test in force on that date.  If the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation is listed only on the SOL that was in force on 8 February 2010 an application will only be assessed under the points test that was in force on 8 February 2010.

It should be noted that separate transitional arrangements apply to applicants who held a student visa on 8 February 2010. Such applicants will be eligible to apply for a Skilled - Graduate (Subclass 485) visa on the basis of the SOL which was in force on 8 February 2010 (that is Schedule 2).  The transitional arrangements do not allow such student visa holders to apply for a points tested skilled visa on the basis of the SOL in force on 8 February 2010.  Such students will need to apply for a points tested skilled visa on the basis of the points test coming into effect on 1 July 2011 and the new SOL (that is Schedule 3).

The transitional arrangements described above are in force until 31 December 2012.

If you have any questions concerning this article, please click this link to contact Visa Lawyers Australia.