Changes to Australia’s immigration system, July 2011

The General Skilled Migration Program is designed for migrants wishing to move to Australia permanently. Thames Migration’s senior migration manager, Hannibal Khoury, explains the proposed July 2011 changes to the programme, how they may affect you and how, by acting now, you can apply for your eligible migration options before it may be too late.

The General Skilled Migration Program is designed for migrants wishing to move to Australia permanently. Thames Migration’s senior migration manager, Hannibal Khoury, explains the proposed July 2011 changes to the programme, how they may affect you and how, by acting now, you can apply for your eligible migration options before it may be too late.It is proposed that a new points test for skilled migration visa applications will be introduced on 1 July 2011. The new test is focused on selecting highly skilled people to deliver a more responsive and targeted migration programme. It was developed following a review of the current points test, which considered submissions from a variety of experts and the wider Australian community.The new points test balances the different factors that are considered when determining whether someone will be granted a skilled migration visa. It will deliver the best and brightest skilled migrants by emphasising high-level qualifications, better English-language levels and extensive skilled work experience. The new points test will continue to award points for study in Australia, including regional study, community languages, and partner skills and completing an approved Professional Year. Points will no longer be awarded on the basis of an applicant's occupation, but all applicants must still nominate an occupation on the applicable Skilled Occupation List.The pass mark is the number of points required to be eligible for skilled migration. It is a tool that allows for management of the skilled migration programme and is always subject to change. It is expected that the pass mark will be set at 65 points.Without knowing a visa applicant’s specific details, it is very difficult to provide any guidance as what the best steps to take will be. For the time being, though, Thames Migration is advising and mapping out the most viable routes that visa applicants have, taking into consideration that all applications lodged before 1 July 2011 will be accepted under the current points test.To help applicants get a better understanding of the potential impact of the new points test, Thames Migration will be hosting a number of Australian Migration Seminars leading up to July  2011 and providing individual advice how best to proceed with specific occupations and situations.For further information, visit www.thamesmigration.com

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