Australian immigration announces new points requirement for SkillSelect applicants

19 June 2012

Australian immigration has announced that the pass mark to qualify for EOI - SkillSelect (Subclasses 189, 190 and 489) will be 60 points. Currently, applicants are required to earn 65 points. The new lower requirement will go into effect from 1 July 2012. This is likely to make it easier for some skilled immigration applicants to emigrate to Australia.

An Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said the change to the pass mark was because of the reforms to the skilled migration program. Visa subclasses 885, 886 and 487 will remain open for new applicants until 1 January 2013. The points test pass mark for these visas will remain at 65 points.

"These reforms have ensured the skilled migration program is a responsive and demand driven program," the spokesman said. "The cornerstone of this migration reform package will be the introduction of SkillSelect from July 1."

Under Australia's new skilled worker program, SkillSelect, you will have to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) before your visa can be processed. The SkillSelect system 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.

Australian visa applicants will be selected to submit an application based on their points test score in a number of selection criteria. You can earn points for your age, English language ability, work experience, and education. 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.

The lowering of the pass mark is good news and means more immigrants will be eligible to apply for an Australian visa.

"The pass mark for the new SkillSelect visas will encourage a broader range of people with the skills and attributes needed in Australia to register their interest in migration," said an Australian immigration press release.

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 a determining factor when considering visa applications from people who score an equal number of points; Applications submitted earlier may receive priority. 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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