New points test threshold: from 60 to 65
Changes, changes, changes…
OMG! It seems yesterday when the Department of Home Affairs woke us up, announcing a number of changes impacting greatly on us migrants (yes, I put myself in this category, despite having obtained my Citizenship a few weeks ago!).
Instead, it was April 2017 and today, more than a year later, we have other news to discuss. After all we know that every financial year brings with it a “breath of fresh air” and when it comes to migration, it is even more true!
Careful planning is indispensable now to avoid unpleasant situations from a migrant point of view. But let’s go on and see what to expect.
Lists, professions and visas
It is now a known fact (or at least it should be) that not all occupations are considered equally important by the Government. In fact, not all jobs allow access to a work visa and – even if they do – not all professions allow access to the same type of visa.
From 2017 the Department of Jobs and Small Business collaborates closely with the Department of Home Affairs. In particular, from this collaboration comes a study that aims to provide periodic information on occupations required or not by the Australian market. Occupations are categorized in three lists:
- MLTSSL (long term)
- STSOL (short term)
- ROL (regional)
So, what are the latest news from the Department of Jobs and Small Businesses?
- From short-term to long-term: Footballer
- From short-term to regional list: Dentist – Anaesthetist
- From long-term to short-term long-term: Management Accountant – Agricultural Consultant – Civil Engineering Technician
Proposed for elimination from all lists:
- Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals nec
- Director (Film, Television, Radio or Stage)
- Film and Video Editor
- Program Director (Television or Radio)
- Stage Manager
- Technical Director
- Video Producer
- Middle School Teacher
- Textile, Clothing and Footwear Mechanic
- Watch and Clock Maker and Repairer
- Cabler (Data and Telecommunications)
- Telecommunications Linesworker
- Chemical Plant Operator
- Library Technician
- Residential Care Officer
- Insurance Loss Adjuster
Points test: 65 is the new 60
And unfortunately we are not talking about something as fun as Orange is the New Black. Many of you will have noticed that from November last year the SkillSelect system did not invite candidates for Skilled Independent Visas, unless they had at least 70 points. For this trend we were given two – more or less questionable – explanations:
- the introduction of a “dedicated channel” for New Zealand citizens, who could thus gain access to permanent residence with visa 189, effectively subtracting useful space from other candidates
- the presentation of false EOIs with the hope of forcing the algorithm
A return to normality was therefore expected for FY 2018/2019. AND INSTEAD NO.
The threshold was officially raised to 65 points to be able to lodge an Expression of Interest.
So, in reality, what ideal conditions could lead to reaching this threshold? Let’s see:
- Age group between 25 and 32 years: 30 points
- Superior English (IELTS 8 or equivalent): 20 points
- University level studies: 15 points
- Solid work experience of at least 3 years helps enormously: 5 points if earned abroad, 10 if Australian.
On top of it there are “bonuses”, for example if you have studied in Australia or through your partner.
Visas price increase
Of course, right? The new financial year does not really begin until news about price increases are spread. Visa rates are not exempt and new costs will apply to all applications submitted from July 1, 2018 afterwards.
Not only the cost of the visa, but also the surcharge for paying by credit card (Visa and Mastercard) will increase from 0.98% to 1.32%.
Amongst the most widely used visas, those that will NOT change are:
- e651: remains free
- bridging visas (including BVB)
So, what will we pay more? Here is a summary of the main categories of visas and price changes:
|ENS 186, RSMS 187||$3670.00||$3755.00|
|Skilled Independent 189, Skilled Nominated 190, Skilled Regional 480||$3670.00||$3755.00|
|Post Graduate Visa||$1500.00||$1535.00|
|Visitor Visa sc600||$345.00||$355.00|