1st July 2011 sees the launch of a revised points test for Australia’s General Skilled Migrant Program.
Amongst several notable changes is an increase in the age cut-off for skilled migration from 45 to 49 years, which recognises the potential of experienced skilled workers in their mid to late 40s.
The new system will also focus on better English levels, more extensive skilled employment, and higher level qualifications obtained in Australia and overseas. There will no longer be a distinction in the pass mark between independent & sponsored visas, and permanent & provisional visas. The pass mark will be 65 points.
Note: Each Australian state and territory may have additional criteria and requirements for skilled migration than those of the new (federal) points test.
Australia’s federal Skilled Occupations List (SOL) is also been updated on 1st July 2011. The number of high value occupations has been increased to 192, with 13 new ones (see below) being added and 4 existing ones removed.
- Medical Physicist
- Environmental Health Officer
- Occupational Health and Safety Adviser
- Hospital Pharmacists
- Retail Pharmacists
- Fitter (General)
- Fitter and Turner
- Metal Machinist (First Class)
- Boat Builder and Repairer
Anyone considering emigrating to Australia, or who may have thought themselves ineligible in the past, should contact the Migration Bureau now to explore what options may exist following these changes.