Australia is becoming more selective when it comes to skilled visas. Not only were 200 occupations on the skills and consolidated skills occupation lists (SOL and CSOL) removed in July this year, but skilled applicants often have to score more than the required 60 points. There is, however, still huge opportunity for most trades, engineers, nurses, IT occupations and many others. Much may depend on whether you are willing to wait longer once you lodge your expression of interest (EOI), for your application to be selected, and whether your application is deemed to be a pro rata occupation.
Currently, you require 60 points for most skilled trades applications to qualify. Current waiting times (as at October 1) are 9 months for 60 points, or from 1 month if you score 65 points. If your occupation is on the pro rata list (that is, chosen for the highest points) which include Accountants and Auditors, most types of Engineers (mechanical, production, electrical and industrial and engineering professionals) and IT occupations require 70 to 75 points if you want to be selected in the next rounds unless you are prepared to wait a minimum of 9 months with a score of 60 or 65.
There are a few options to consider if you need to boost those points in order to be selected. Consider achieving a higher score in your English language test. Level 7 in IELTS will increase your score by 10 points - although most applicants have to achieve this score for points in any case, and level 8 by 20 points – or 10 extra points if you have already scored level 7.
If you have a partner or spouse with an eligible skill and who meets minimum requirements (be under 45 years of age and pass the skills assessment test), you can add a further 5 points to your score.
You may also consider State Sponsorship. Although this is an extra cost (approximately from AUD 200 to AUD 770), state sponsorship will add 5 points to your score, or 10 points if you consider going regional. Some states have closed off sponsorship such as ACT, and West Australia requires a job offer first).
Reaching the EOI stage is probably the most difficult and stressful part of your application. However, don’t forget that you will more than likely have to sit the English language test; you will be required to undertake a character assessment and divulge any past convictions; sort out any child custody issues, and if you are not married and are travelling with your partner, you will need substantial evidence of living together as a couple for at least 12 months.
Richard Gregan – Registered Migration Agent # 9905168