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Changes to the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program

Changes to the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program

Source: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/whats-new.htm      February 15, 2010

Details have been released of extensive changes to the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program.

 

These changes generally affect the following visa subclasses:

 

Onshore Visa Subclasses

 

  • Skilled - Independent (subclass 885)
  • Skilled - Sponsored (subclass 886)
  • Skilled - Graduate (subclass 485)
  • Skilled - Regional Sponsored (subclass 487)
  • Skilled - Regional (subclass 887)

 

 

 Offshore Visa Subclasses

 

  • Skilled - Independent (subclass 175)
  • Skilled - Sponsored (subclass 176)
  • Skilled - Regional Sponsored (subclass 475)
  • Skilled - Recognised Graduate (subclass 476)

 

An overview of the changes can be found here:

 

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/faq-gsmchanges.pdf

 

A summary of the changes include;

 

1 Revocation of the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL).

 

2 Abolition of the Critical Skills List (CSL).

 

3 The introduction of a new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) in mid 2010.

 

4 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.

 

5 Changes to priority processing.

 

6 A review of the Points Test

 

7 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.

 Transitional arrangements have been made which are outlined in material on the DIAC website.

  

Abolition of the Migration Occupations in Demand List

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/faq-modl.pdf

 

 On 8 February 2010 the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, announced the revocation of the MODL from 8th February 2010. This change applies to all GSM applicants except those who, at the date of announcement:

 

  • hold a Skilled-Graduate (subclass 485) visa, or had a pending subclass 485 visa application and had not yet lodged an application for a provisional or permanent GSM visa and who make an application by 31 December 2012, or

 

  • have a pending GSM visa application.

 

This means that points can no longer be claimed for MODL.

 

Applicants who lodged a GSM application before 8 February 2010 will not be affected by the revocation of the MODL.

 

Onshore overseas students

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/faq-onshore-student.pdf

 

 

Overseas students who apply for a subclass 485 visa after the new SOL commences in mid-2010 and who were not holding a student visa subclass 572, 573 or 574 on 8 February 2010 then the application will be subject to the new SOL.

 

Overseas students who applied for a subclass 485 visa before 8 February 2010 may when granted, apply for a permanent General Skilled Migration visa and nominate an occupation which is on the SOL as at 8 February 2010 and thus will not be subject to the new SOL provided an application for a permanent GSM visa is made prior to 31 December 2012.

 

If, however, you apply for a permanent GSM visa after mid-2010 you will need to nominate an occupation that is included on the new Skills Occupation List (SOL).

 

You can nominate a different occupation in your permanent GSM application from your subclass 485 visa. You must also ensure that you meet all other requirements for the visa class for which you made an application. It is important to note that your qualifications obtained in Australia must be closely related to your new nominated occupation and you obtain a skills assessment in your new nominated occupation.

 

 

 

 

Pre-1 September 2007 offshore applications

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/faq-offshore-preseptember.pdf

 

Under section 39 of the Migration Act 1958 the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has the power to set the maximum number of visas of a particular class that may be granted in a financial year. This is known as 'capping'. Once this number is reached, any application for that class of visa that has not been finalised is taken not to have been made. This is known as 'ceasing'. This means that the application and visa application charge are returned to the visa applicant.

 

 

 Associated fees incurred for medical examinations, English language tests and police checks cannot be refunded as these payments were not made to the Australian Government.

 

Affected applicants can apply again for any of the current GSM visa subclasses. However, you will need to meet the current legislative requirements, which have changed significantly from those that existed prior to 1 September 2007.

 

 

Changes to the Skilled Occupation List

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/faq-sol.pdf

 

 

 The government is replacing the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) with a more targeted list of occupations to better meet the medium and long-term future skill needs of the Australian economy.

 

The new SOL will have a more targeted list of occupations designed to meet the medium to long-term needs of the Australian economy. Applicants for GSM visas that are not state/territory government nominated will have to nominate an occupation on the new SOL if they apply after mid-2010.

 

The new SOL will be announced by 30 April 2010 and will take effect in mid-2010.

 

It is being developed by Skills Australia who will identify skilled occupations of high value to the economy that align with its national workforce development strategy.

 

 The new SOL will apply to all new GSM applicants from mid-2010, except those applicants who, at 8 February 2010:

  • hold a Skilled-Graduate (subclass 485) visa, or had a pending subclass 485 visa application and had not yet lodged an application for a provisional or permanent GSM visa and who make an application by 31 December 2012, or
  • had a pending GSM visa application.

State and territory governments will be able to nominate applicants if their nominated occupation is not on the new SOL.

 

Prospective applicants may also wish to consider eligibility for a permanent employer sponsored visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme, or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.

 

 

Revocation of the Critical Skills List

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/csl-gsm.pdf

 

 

 

 The Critical Skills List (CSL) will be revoked when the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) comes into place in mid- 2010. The CSL was an interim administrative measure adopted while the Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL) review was being undertaken, to ensure skilled migration outcomes were driven by the demands of the labour market.

 

 

 Priority processing arrangements for applications for permanent skilled migration will continue until they are reviewed in mid-2010. More information on the new arrangements will be provided closer to this time

 

 

Change to priority processing

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/priority-processing.pdf

 

 

 The current priority processing ministerial direction began on 8 February 2010.

The direction applies to applications in the pipeline that have not been finalised, and to applications lodged with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship on or after 8 February 2010.

 

 Under the ministerial direction, the following processing priorities (with highest priority listed first) apply:

1. Applications from people who are employer sponsored under the ENS and the RSMS.

2. Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency under a state migration plan agreed to by the minister.

 3. Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency and whose nominated occupation is on the Critical Skills List (CSL).

4. Applications from people who are neither nominated nor sponsored in priority groups 1, 2 or 3, but whose nominated occupation is listed on the CSL.

5. Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL.

6. (i) Applications from people whose occupations are listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL).

(ii) Aplications from people who are sponsored by family and whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL.

7. All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.

 

If you are not nominated by a state or territory government in accordance with an approved state migration plan, or your nominated occupation is not on the CSL and you have applied for an offshore GSM visa or intend to apply for an offshore GSM visa, it is unlikely that your application will be finalised within 3 years of the date of the application.

 

 

If you are not nominated by a state or territory government in accordance with an approved state migration plan or your nominated occupation is not on the CSL and you applied for an onshore GSM visa or intend to apply for an onshore GSM visa, it is unlikely that your visa will be finalised within 2 years of the date of the application.

 

Points test review

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/faq-points-test.pdf

 

 

 

 The GSM Points Test Review will be undertaken in the first half of 2010.

 

 

 

Changes to skills assessment rules regarding trades

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/changes-skills-assessment.pdf

 

 

In relation to amendments introduced by Trades Recognition Australia on 1st January 2010 to implement the Job Ready Program (JRP), these amendments require certain GSM applicants who nominate a trade occupation to provide a skills assessment dated on or after 1 January 2010 in order to make a valid application.

 It is intended that in the future, applicants nominating a trade occupation for permanent migration will be able to provide an existing skills assessment when applying. This includes assessments predating 1 January 2010 and will mean that applicants will no longer be required to obtain a further skills assessment. It is intended that these arrangements commence in the first quarter of 2010.

Applicants who did not apply for a skills assessment prior to 1 January 2010 will continue to be required to satisfy the JRP as part of their skills assessment if nominating a trade occupation.

Applicants wanting to migrate to Australia under one of the below visa subclasses and in an allowable trade occupation are required to satisfy the JRP as part of the skills assessment process. This requirement applies to applications lodged from 1 January 2010. Currently, the skills assessment must be dated on or after 1 January 2010 in order to lodge a valid application.

Intended changes, once they commence, will allow applicants who hold a skills assessment dated before 1 January 2010 to use this assessment when applying for permanent migration.

The visa subclasses that are subject to the JRP are:

  • Skilled-Independent (residence) visa (subclass 885)
  • Skilled-Sponsored (residence) visa (subclass 886)
  • Skilled-Regional sponsored (provisional) visa (subclass 487)

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