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05 July 2011
Australia implemented major changes to its General Skilled Migration program on 1 July 2011. The pass mark for various visa subclasses is now 65 points. The age limit has also been raised from 45 years of age to 50.
Nominated occupations no longer earn points, but applicants are still required to nominate an occupation. Points are scored for experience in an occupation. Experience within Australia and overseas in a nominated occupation can be combined to earn points of up to 20 points.
There are now tougher English language requirements; All applicants must be at English language level "Competent" to be eligible to apply under the General Skilled Migration programme.
You can gain 5 additional points if you have a spouse who can satisfy the basic requirements under the General Skilled Migration programme; Points can be earned for language skills in a number of community languages such as Punjabi, Hindi, German, French, and many others, and for a qualification at an Australian institution.