The Australian Department of Immigraiton & Cultural Affairs today released an array of extensive changes to the General Skilled Migration program.
The changes announced are sure to make it harder to gain entry into Australia for many, however anyone who has already begun the process and lodged their application to migrate to Australia under the skilled program will not be affected.
Some of the changes announced include;
- Removal of the Migration Occupations in Demand List.
- Abolition of the Critical Skills List.
- The introduction of a new Skilled Occupations List in mid 2010.
- A quota being placed on pre-1 September 2007 offshore applications with applications not coming within the quota being “terminated’ and the filing fee refunded.
- Changes to priority processing.
- A review of the points test
- Allowing pre-1 January 2010 trades skills assessments to be used for General Skilled Migration applications so the holders of such assessments will not be required to undertake the Job Ready Program.
There will be transitional arrangements for those that may be affected by the chages and the department has posted very helpful fact sheets on their website which will be able to help thise affected gain a better understanding of the new rules.
The below links should prove helpful.
Overview of Changes
As these changes filter through the migration community, it will be interesting to see if there is any modification.
Australia has been experiencing record incoming migraiton over the past few years, so these measures seem to be aimed at slowing the growth trend but enhancing the applicant quality even further than the current regime.
Those most affected will be skilled migrant over 40 who will now stuggle to gain the required qualification points as the required occupation bonus points have now been removed.