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These Big Changes Are Being Proposed For the Skilled Migration to Australia

20 October, 2016

The Productivity Commission, Australia’s major body tasked in reviewing and advising on microeconomic policies, is proposing huge changes for the country’s skilled migration that could considerably impact the process on which Australia selects the migrants it lets in.

There are many extensive changes being proposed as per the report titled “Migrant Intake into Australia” which was submitted to the Australian Government. The recommendations aim to overhaul the measures and methods of which the country selects and adopts the permanent skilled migrants.

The proposed changes include:




Reduction of the Age Limit


Current age limit for the permanent migration under the skill stream is 50 years old, but the Commission suggested that the Australian Government consider a reduction of this, arguing that younger migrants are “likely to have a more favourable impact” compared to those who come to the country at an older age which have “lower rates of labour force participation.”

The report also stressed out that the Government reconsider giving the points‑based system for younger immigrants more significance. The Commission, however, emphasized that the Australian Government continue its existing authority in granting exemptions to the age rule for exceptionally skilled migrants.




Making the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) As the Sole Basis


The report also proposed that the Australian Government utilize the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) as the reference point for establishing the skill requirements for the various streams of the permanent skilled immigration program. These include those using the Temporary Residence Transition visa.

In addition, it suggested that the Government initiate a small pilot scheme that will determine the benefit of improving the Skilled Occupations List. The proposed improvements include a “granular” approach to some occupations that cannot be easily allocated between the different skill levels as well as the addition of particular, well defined, skill sets that are not occupationally specific.




Increase Points Given to Primary Applicants


The report advised the contributing points that the primary applicant (i.e. the main person applying for the visa) is being given be raised, up to a given maximum. The increased points should be based on the skill and other traits of the adult secondary applicant. Also, it suggested that a primary applicant without any partner be provided with the maximum points.




Streamlining the Points System for Permanent Skilled Migrant Applications


Another proposal is for the Australian Government to adopt and maintain a common points system for the entire permanent skill stream. Along with this, additional points should also be awarded to a primary applicant who has been nominated by an employer.

The Productivity Commission also indicated that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, the Department of Education and Training, and the Department of Employment collectively create a “systematic empirical” method for establishing the distribution of points based on the traits of the permanent skill stream and evidences on employment and other outcomes.




Screen Partners and Adult Children For English-Competency


While the current process does not assess partners and adult children on their English ability, work skills, age, and education, the Commission wants to change that by having the secondary visa applicants be screened in addition to the evaluations being made for the primary visa applicants.

These proposals handed to the Australian Government 13 April this year and was only made public last 12 September, are not yet final and effective. We will keep you updated for any changes taking effect in the migration policies and processes.

What can you say about these proposed changes?

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4 comments on “These Big Changes Are Being Proposed For the Skilled Migration to Australia”

  1. I think the 50 year rule is ridiculous! My husband is 54 years old and holds a senior executive role but has to work for current employer for over 4 years before he can apply for PR. If he was under 50 he could apply immediately ! Why should his age impact on this, he has vast experience (the reason he was head hunted from UK), earns a good salary, works hard and pays alot of tax ... unlike alot of younger people who get permanent residency! Age discrimination!!

    1. We actually agree. There is a significant segment of the working pool of talent who are highly skilled and have tremendous experience gained from decades of work, problem solving and management exposure. Make your voice heard and approach your local member of parliament to cast your opinion on the proposed changes. Working professionals over 50 are highly skilled and are an important contributor to the economy.





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