The following visas are affected by this change:
- Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa: This points-based visa is for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member.
- Skilled - Nominated (subclass 190) visa: This points-based visa is for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory.
- Skilled - Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa: This points-based visa is for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area in Australia.
The following visas will remain open for new applicants until 1 January 2013 and the points test pass mark for these visas will remain at 65 points:
- Skilled Independent (Residence) Visa (Subclass 885): This visa allows overseas students who have completed their course studies in the last six months in Australia and holders of certain temporary visas to apply for permanent residency.
- Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) visa (subclass 886): This visa works the same as the Subclass 885 visa but you must be sponsored by an eligible relative living in Australia or obtain nomination from a participating state or territory government agency.
- Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 487): This visa is a three year provisional visa for overseas students and certain visa holders who are unable to meet the criteria for a permanent skilled visa. This visa requires you to be either nominated by a participating state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area of Australia.
Under Australia's new skilled worker program, SkillSelect, applicants have to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) before their visa can be processed. The SkillSelect system works as an electronic two-stage process where prospective visa applicants first submit a claim for skilled migration through an online EOI. Applicants may then be invited to submit an Australian visa application on the basis of their EOI.
Australian visa applicants will be selected to submit an application based on their points test score in a number of selection criteria. You can earn points for your age, English language ability, work experience, and education. All prospective visa applicants will be required to meet the relevant English language requirements and obtain the necessary skills assessment prior to their EOI submission.
The lowering of the pass mark is good news as it means more immigrants will be eligible to apply for an Australian visa.
Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in Australia. Please check our Australian page for more information: http://www.globalvisasupport.com/australia.html