« Skilled migration visa subclasses streamlined »

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has announced changes to the skilled migration visa subclasses which will be implemented as part of the wider reforms due on 1 July 2012.

The changes announced at this stage concern the six current points tested skilled migration visa subclasses, which are currently:

  • Applications in Australia
    • subclass 885 (Skilled independent)
    • subclass 886 (Skilled nominated/sponsored)
    • subclass 487 (Skilled regional sponsored)
  • Applications outside Australia
    • subclass 175 (Skilled independent)
    • subclass 176 (Skilled nominated/sponsored)
    • subclass 475 (Skilled regional sponsored)

With effect from 1 July 2012 the DIAC will not be distinguishing between applications made onshore and offshore which means that these six subclasses will be replaced by only three:

  • subclass 189 (Skilled independent) (will replace subclasses 885 and 175)
  • subclass 190 (Skilled nominated) (will replace subclasses 886 and 176)
  • subclass 489 (Skilled regional) (will replace subclasses 487 and 475)

Subclasses 485 (Skilled graduate) and 476 (Skilled recognised graduate) will remain unaffected. 

This means that any prospective applicants who are invited to apply through the SkillSelect program will apply through the same subclass regardless of whether or not they are inside Australia at the time.

Applicants will still have to pass a points test before they can be granted a visa but the details of this points test, including the required score and how points are earned, will be changed on 1 July 2012 as well. 

Using the new SkillSelect system the points test will be fixed at the time that an invitation to apply is made and not at the time of application or decision.

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