NEW MIGRATION POINTS TEST TO BETTER ADDRESS AUSTRALIA’S SKILLS NEEDSPosted November 11, 2010
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today announced a new points test to assess independent skilled migrants as part of the Gillard Government’s ongoing commitment to reforming the skilled migration program to deliver the skills Australia needs.
Mr Bowen said the new points test will emphasise the importance of English, work experience and high level qualifications, and is designed to ensure no one factor guarantees migration.
“These changes to the points test are an important next step in the series of reforms to the skilled migration program announced by the Government in February this year,” Mr Bowen said.
“The reforms set the foundations for a skilled migration program that will be responsive to our economic needs and continue to serve Australia’s interests in the medium to long term.”
The new points test has been formulated following extensive public and stakeholder consultation, and research review. The review found the existing points test led to a skewing of applications towards a small number of occupations and a growing pipeline of applicants waiting for a skilled migration visa.
“The existing points test has not always led to outcomes consistent with the objectives of the skilled migration program,” Mr Bowen said.
“For example, the current test puts an overseas student with a short term vocational qualification and one year’s work experience in Australia ahead of a Harvard educated environmental engineer with three years’ relevant work experience.
“The new points test will ensure we select the best and brightest people from a large pool of potential migrants.”
The new test will also continue to recognise the additional value that Australian education offers.
The new points test will complement the new skilled occupation list, which came into effect on 1 July 2010, to deliver migrants with a mix of the skills and attributes needed to contribute productively in Australia.
It is important to note that the points test only applies to one component of the skilled migration program. Employer-sponsored visa categories are not affected by changes to the points test.
The new points test is proposed to take effect from 1 July 2011, subject to passage of supporting legislation through the Parliament. It will apply to anyone lodging an application from 1 July 2011.
More information on the proposed changes is available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website at www.diac.gov.au.
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