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Published on November 11th, 2010 | by


Australian immigration minister announces skilled migration changes

Chris Bowen, the Australian Minister for Immigration, has announced a new points test for skilled migration visa applications proposed to take effect in July 2011.

Under the new test the number of points required to pass has been adjusted from 120 to 65.

Potential migrants with competent English skills do not score any points in the new system and those with proficient or superior English skills will score fewer points than they would under the old points test.

According to Bowen, the new test will deliver “the best and brightest skilled migrants by emphasising high level qualifications, better English language levels and extensive skilled work experience.” Among the changes mooted are a raising of the upper age limit for migrants in skilled visas from 45 to 49, meaning that a number of people who have considered themselves to old to apply may now be able to submit an application under the skilled migration programme.

The new points system is outlined below – for further information visit

Factor Description Points
Age 18-24 25 points
25-32 30 points
33-39 25 points
40-44 15 points
45-49 0 points
English language Competent English – IELTS 6 0 points
Proficient English – IELTS 7 10 points
Superior English – IELTS 8 20 points
Australian work experience in nominated occupation or a closely related occupation One year Australian (of past two years) 5 points
Three years Australian (of past five years) 10 points
Five years Australian (of past seven years) 15 points
Overseas work experience in nominated occupation or a closely related occupation Three years overseas (of past five years) 5 points
Five years overseas (of past seven years) 10 points
Eight years overseas (of past 10 years) 15 points
Qualifications (Australian or recognised overseas) Offshore recognised apprenticeship AQFIII/IV completed in Australia Diploma completed in Australia 10 points
Bachelor degree (including a Bachelor degree with Honours or Masters) 15 points
PhD 20 points
Recognition of Australian Study Minimum two years fulltime (Australian study requirement) 5 points
Designated language 5 points
Partner skills 5 points
Professional Year 5 points
Sponsorship by state or territory government 5 points
Sponsorship by family or state or territory government to regional Australia 10 points
Study in a regional area 5 points

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