New zealand VIsa

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Lloyd Vivera, who is originally from India , is an immigration lawyer practicing Australian and New Zealand immigration law. He moved to New Zealand in 2001. Read more>>

Skilled (Independent) subclasses 175 & 885

Skilled migration (independent) to Australia is meant for people who have qualifications, work experience and with excellent command of English. Anyone with qualifications and work experience will not qualify. Only those whose occupation is included in a list of occupations called Skilled Occupations List (SOL) will qualify for residence under the General Skilled Migration (GSM). Since last year, the focus of Australia govt is to attract the best talent and to attract people with the skills Australia needs. Australia now wants the highly skilled rather than the skilled. In July 2010, a new SOL came into effect and now contains only less than half of occupations compared to the previous SOL.

There are several requirements to be met to qualify for residence under this policy. You must be less than 45 years of age. You must nominate an occupation from the skilled list. If your occupation is not included in SOL, you cannot apply under subclass 175 or 885. You must obtain a skilled assessment from an appropriate skill assessment body. You must also have a tertiary or trade qualification. In some cases experience can be a substitute for formal qualifications You must also have recent work experience for at least 12 months of the 24 months immediately before the date of application. If you are outside Australia, you apply under subclass 175 and if you are currently living in Australia, you apply under subclass 885.

GSM is a points tested system where points are allocated for age, occupation, work experience, Australian study, English, spouse occupation etc. You must score the minimum passmark to qualify. The current passmark is 120. A new points test is coming into effect on 1 July 2011 which is radically different from the current points test. The focus will be on skills set of the applicant rather than the occupation, which is the current focus. The new points test place significant importance to English. It pays to focus on improving your English to improve your chances of qualifying under the new points test.