ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 49
Financial Times  

Changes this September on Australian skilled migration process

Legislative changes are being enforced from September 2007 in the Australian Skilled Migration Program (GSM) aimed at identifying if the current migration program actually addresses the existing skill shortage and at the same time to test if the skills and attributes which the migrants bring to Australia will assist them to integrate quickly into Australian labour market and use the skills in Australia.

Dozens of Sri Lankans are seeking migratory status in Australia which is taking a lot of skilled workers below 45 years.

According to Surani Punchihewa, a registered migration agent from the Australian Migration Centre, a private entity, among the proposed changes, the increase in the English language threshold for all GSM visas, making the recent work experience requirement uniform across all offshore visas and enabling overseas students to apply for visa’s under GSM with 50 points are vital.

The most significant change out of all is the increase in the English language threshold. According to current legislation, a professional (professionally qualified with a degree or equivalent) who is under 30 years of age, that has more than 3 years of work experience, has competent English (6 or more in each band in the IELTS test), and the occupation is not in the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) may qualify to obtain permanent residency in Australia. However under proposed legislative changes, a person that falls into the above mentioned scenario will only qualify for a temporary visa, or may not be eligible for an Australian visa at all in certain situations.

He said the work experience requirement will also face changes with the applicant required to demonstrate employment of 12 months out of the last 24 months in a skilled occupation. Furthermore, if an applicant is claiming points for MODL occupations, the applicant is required to be employed in closely related occupation for a period of 12 months out of the last 48 months.

A seminar will be held by the Australian Migration Centre at Jaic Hilton on Sunday, May 20 focusing on the legislation changes

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.