Amendments to introduce a new points test for certain applicants for General Skilled Migration visas

Commencement: 1 July 2011

Client summary

From 1 July 2011, the Migration Regulations 1994 (the Regulations) are amended to:

amend several definitions relating to English language qualifications to clarify the time frame within which an English language test must have been conducted for the purposes of a visa application;

increase the threshold English language requirement for applicants for a Subclass 475 (Skilled – Regional Sponsored) visa or a Subclass 487 (Skilled – Regional Sponsored) visa to provide consistency for English language qualifications across all GSM visas;

place greater emphasis on skilled work experience through the insertion of the new Schedule 6C in the requirements for the grant of GSM visas;

prescribe qualifications and points under Schedule 6C in respect of certain applicants for a GSM visa for which criteria require the applicant to receive a qualifying score when assessed under Subdivision B of Division 3 of Part 2 of the Act; and

make a number of minor amendments that are consequential to the insertion of Schedule 6C for the purposes of prescribing qualifications and points.

Affected legislation

The following provisions of the Regulations are amended:

Part 1, regulation 1.03, definition of superior English, is inserted

Part 1, regulation 1.15C, definition of competent English, is amended

Part 1, regulation 1.15D, definition of proficient English, is amended

Part 1, regulation 1.15E, definition of concessional competent English, is amended

Part 1, regulation 1.15EA, definition of superior English, is inserted

Part 1, subregulation 1.15I(1), definition of skilled occupation, is amended

Part 2, regulation 2.26AA, is amended

Part 2, regulation 2.26AB, is inserted

Schedule 1, paragraph 1135(3)(b), is amended

Schedule 1, subparagraphs 1136(4)(b)(i) and (ii), are amended

Schedule 1, subparagraph 1136(5)(b)(ii), is amended

Schedule 1, subparagraphs 1136(6)(b)(ii) and (iii), are amended

Schedule 1, subparagraph 1228(3)(b)(i), is amended

Schedule 1, subparagraphs 1229(4)(b)(i) and (ii), are amended

Schedule 1, subparagraph 1229(5)(b)(ii), is amended

Schedule 1, subparagraphs 1229(6)(b)(ii) and (iii), are amended

Schedule 1, subparagraphs 1229(7)(b)(i) and (ii), are amended

Schedule 2, clause 175.221, Note, is amended

Schedule 2, clause 176.221, Note, is amended

Schedule 2, clause 475.111, Note 3, is amended

Schedule 2, clause 475.214, is amended

Schedule 2, clause 475.221, Note, is amended

Schedule 2, clause 487.111, Note 3, is amended

Schedule 2, clause 487.215, is amended

Schedule 2, clause 487.222, Note, is amended

Schedule 2, clause 487.224, is omitted

Schedule 2, clause 885.221, Note, is amended

Schedule 2, clause 886.221, Note, is amended

Schedule 6B, Heading, is amended

Schedule 6C, is inserted.

Additional information

The requirement that an applicant has been assessed as having the relevant qualifying score for a points test applies in relation to the following GSM visa subclasses:

Subclass 175 (Skilled – Independent) visa; or

Subclass 176 (Skilled – Sponsored) visa; or

Subclass 475 (Skilled – Regional Sponsored) visa; or

Subclass 487 (Skilled – Regional Sponsored) visa; or

Subclass 885 (Skilled – Independent) visa; or

Subclass 886 (Skilled – Sponsored) visa.

All new applicants for a GSM visa made on or after 1 July 2011 who are required to be assessed against a points test for the grant of the visa will be assessed against the points test prescribed under regulation 2.26AB to the Regulations.

However, certain GSM visa applicants who, on 8 February 2010, held or had applied for a Subclass 485 (Skilled – Graduate) visa and who made or will make an application for a Subclass 487 (Skilled – Regional Sponsored) visa; or a Subclass 885 (Skilled – Independent) visa; or a Subclass 886 (Skilled – Sponsored) visa before 1 January 2013 will first be assessed against the points test prescribed under regulation 2.26AA to the Regulations on the basis of the skilled occupation list in effect on 8 February 2010.

In certain circumstances, applicants who fall within this group and who fail to meet the relevant pass mark for the points test prescribed under regulation 2.26AA to the Regulations will then be assessed against the points test prescribed under regulation 2.26AB to the Regulations on the basis of the skilled occupation list in effect at the time they lodged their application.

Transitional provisions

These amendments apply (other than the amendments made to subregulation 1.15I(1), regulation 2.26AA, regulation 2.26AB, Schedule 6B and Schedule 6C to the Regulations) in relation to an application for a General Skilled Migration visa (within the meaning of the Regulations) made on or after 1 July 2011.

The amendments to regulation 2.26AA, regulation 2.26AB, Schedule 6B and Schedule 6C to the Regulations identify the visa applications to which they apply. The amendments to subregulation 1.15I(1) are consequential to the amendments to regulation 2.26AA, regulation 2.26AB, Schedule 6B and Schedule 6C to the Regulations.
Forms

The following forms will be amended to reflect these changes:

Form 1276 Application for general skilled migration to Australia; and

Form 1119 Information Booklet 6: General Skilled Migration.

Instructions

PAM3 will be amended to reflect these amendments.

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