Recent Changes in General Skilled Migration to Australia
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has consciously responded to the different stimuli on the national and international scenario that affects immigration. The recent changes in the general skilled migration to Australia come as outcome to the same policy.
The most prominent of all is the reduction of pass marks for the general skilled migration. SkillSelect has w.e.f 1st July 2012 reduced the minimum criteria on the pass marks from 65 to 60. The change comes in light of the rising domestic demand on skilled manpower and to neutralise the after affects of recession. The move aims to suffice the manpower shortage by way of an increased
influx of talented immigrants. SkillSelect has also omitted the subclasses 175, 176 and 475 for the offshore general skilled visa. The applicants can apply for the said subclasses only up till 1st January 2013 and after which Expression of Interest needs to be submitted with SkillSelect.
SkillSelect now replaces the new Skilled
Visa subclasses. The applicants are now required to place an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) along with a detailed encryption of academic, professional and individual details. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship will review the EOIs and prepare a merit list for the most eligible lot. The Employers, State and Territory governments would make their pick on the most suitable candidates from the list. SkillSelect would subsequently send invitation to the selected applicants to discuss employment. It is therefore imperative that only after receiving an Invitation the applicants can lodge a visa application.
The two changes i.e. reduction of points score and deletion of the subclasses shows that even the most potential applicants will not be sure of their selection. The invitations would largely depend on the points score and the total EOIs placed under an occupational group.
The change also comes by way of bridging visas for the onshore applicants. Earlier the onshore applicants (already working or International students) could directly apply for skilled migration but not now. The deletion of skilled migration subclasses would require them to either place an EOI or take route of bridging visa under provisional subclasses such as Skilled Nominated or Sponsored provisional visa (subclass 489) or Graduate Skilled Visa 457. SkillSelect also requires the applicants to take route of online lodgement for the new skilled visa subclasses. This change on technological front aims to bring in efficiency and robustness to the ongoing selection procedure.
As a change, the EOIs can also be lodged onshore. The immigrants with a provision (visa under subclass 457, working holiday maker or bridging visa) can make an onshore submission of the EOI. This change brings in a lot of convenience for the onshore applicants as they do not have to depart Australia during the processing of their visa. SkillSelect also doesn’t enforce the clause on the recent work experience. This comes as convenience for all those who have been on a career break or were looking for a change in occupation.