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Amended Point System To Focus On High Skill Levels And Employee Sponsorship

12 Nov 2010


Australia is looking up to students with high skill levels and employee sponsorship, to gain the objective an amended point system would be announced soon. This will tighten the rules for gaining permanent residency for overseas students with low quality qualifications.

On 11 Nov 2010, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, announced the government's intention to implement a new points test applying to certain skilled migration applications made on or after 1 July 2011. The new points test will not apply to unfinalised applications lodged prior to 1 July 2011.

The new points test will not change the generous transitional arrangements in place until 31 December 2012 for former international students.

A discussion paper issued by Department of Immigration and Citizenship said, “Amending its old system that allowed easy access to PR through enrolling into courses like hairdressing and hospitality, now graduates will have to fit within July’s new skilled occupation list, which gives prominence to high-skill jobs in health and engineering, and pass a strict new points test.

“The current weighting of points test factors leads to perverse outcomes such as the situation where a Harvard qualified environmental scientist with three years’ relevant work experience would fail the points test, while an overseas student who completes a 92-week course in a 60-point occupation [such as cookery or hairdressing] would, with one year’s experience, pass,” a discussion paper issued by Department of Immigration and Citizenship said.

It also flagged a relaxation of the emphasis on youth, saying the test “does not adequately recognise the trade-off between age and work experience, particularly for highly skilled professionals”. This pictured the possible end to the points bonus enjoyed by those with relatives in the country or with Australian qualifications.

The paper said that local qualifications attracted extra points because of “the general quality” of Australian education and the fact studies were undertaken in English. One of the reasons that triggered the reform of skilled migration is poor English of foreign graduates.


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