Traditionally the 1st of July has always seen major changes to Australian migration policy and this year was no exception, with over 15 legislative changes having come into effect on the 1st July 2009. The changes vary from the standard adjustments made to fees and application forms, that tend to take place every year, to more technical changes that represented over 60 amendments to different schedules within the regulation of Australian migration law.
The most prominent changes made, involves the English language requirements for offshore skilled migration applicants. 1st Contact have listed the details of this change below and are available to advise you further on how these changes could affect you.
* English language requirements have increased, by removing the option of ‘vocational English’ for foreign migration applicants (Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) Level 4 occupation)
* The option for foreign applicants to receive points towards a qualifying points score, for the general points test for ‘vocational English’ has been removed.
* Applicants applying with ‘concessional competent English’, will no longer be restricted to being nominated by a State or Territory, or sponsored by a person who resides in a State or Territory, in which arrangements are established for suitable English language training. They will also not be required to enroll in an English language course and pay the fee.
* For primary applicants who are relying on attaining partner points in the general points test, no points will be awarded if the partner has ‘vocational English’ and if claiming ‘concessional competent English’.
Further to the above changes, 1st Contact would like to create awareness around the closing of a loophole that previously allowed applicants, of the contributory parent visa, to avoid paying half the required contribution, thus saving them in the region of $30,000 AUD. It has been found that eligible parents were nominating just one parent and paying just one of the required contributions, then, after two years of residence the one parent would be granted permanent status in Australia and be eligible to sponsor their spouse on a partner visa. Although not illegal this loophole has been identified and is not in the spirit of the design of the visa. As such measures have been put in place to stop this occurring in the future.
For additional advice on how to overcome the above issues, please contact us on
0800 856 2474 (in the UK) or 021 657-2180 (in South Africa) or 1800 039 300 (in Australia).