Australian skilled migration visa program changes coming 1 July 2012 - Apply now!

Thu, 2012-01-19 12:20 PM
Beginning 1 July 2012, Australian immigration will be introducing huge changes to their skilled migration program. This represents the most dramatic change to the Australian immigration system in many, many years. It is expected that under the Australian immigration system fewer people will qualify and processing times will be longer. If you wish to come under the current skilled immigration programme you should apply for a skills assessment as soon as possible. You need to be ready with your skills assessment and, have passed the English language test before you can submit your immigration application.

Australian immigration's new skilled worker program will be called the Skilled Migrant Selection Register, known as SkillSelect. In order to apply, you will have to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). The SkillSelect will work as an electronic two-stage process where prospective visa applicants first submit a claim for skilled migration through an online EOI. Following this, applicants may then be invited to submit an Australian visa application on the basis of their EOI.

This is a really significant change from the current Australian immigration system. It is likely that fewer people will qualify under the new scheme because under the new scheme you will not only need to gain enough points but, in addition, Australia immigration will decide whether or not you will be allowed to submit an application. This is compared to the current system wherein if you gain enough points under the particular visa scheme you are likely to get in.

From 1 July 2012, all new prospective Australian skilled migration visa applicants will have to submit an EOI and wait for an invitation before they can lodge their visa application. For those who have lodged a visa application before that date, Australian immigration will process the application in accordance with any priority processing direction in effect at that time.

Australian visa applicants will be selected based on their points test score in a number of selection criteria. 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. However, unlike now you will have to also be approved by SkillSelect to obtain your visa. This brings in greater uncertainty compared to the current system.

The SkillSelect system will affect applicants for the following Australian skilled visas:
Remember if you wish to apply for a skilled immigration visa you should start preparing now so that you are ready to submit your application before 1 July 2012.

Once the new system in implemented, SkillSelect will begin issuing invitations to eligible applicants in August 2012. Invitations will be issued to the highest ranking EOIs in descending order. The date and time of submission of the completed EOI may be used to separate those who score equally, so apply as soon as possible. Australian immigration will also announce a cap for occupations to limit how many people are selected from a certain occupation group. This ensures that the migration program is not dominated by a narrow range of occupations.

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