Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen MP announced this month a new Skilled Migrant Selection Model to be introduced in July 2012. When introduced this will represent the biggest change to the Australian immigration system for many years.
From July 2012 to apply for an Australian skilled immigration visa you will firstly need to register an online Expression of Interest (EOI). You may then be invited to make an immigration application. This is similar in some respects to the New Zealand Expression of Interest immigration system which has been in existence for many years.
In the current Australian immigration system, as long as you meet the requirements, you can submit an immigration application right away. The Immigration Minister had the following to say:
“It is critical that Australia’s skilled migration program is driven by Australia’s skills needs, rather than the desires of prospective migrants.”
“That’s why the government will introduce a new model for selecting skilled migrants to better target Australia’s future skill needs, expected to come into effect on 1 July 2012.”
“The new system will be fair and equitable for people wishing to migrate to Australia, and will deliver strong outcomes for local employers who demonstrate they are unable to fill their skilled positions locally.”
The following Australian immigration visa categories will be affected by the new Skilled Migrant Selection Model:
• Skilled – Independent (Migrant) subclass 175
• Skilled – Sponsored (Migrant) subclass 176
• Skilled – Independent (Residence) subclass 885
• Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) subclass 886
• Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 475
• Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 487
The new immigration system will be less convenient for prospective migrants to Australia. You will have to wait probably about six months to find out if you are allowed to make an immigration application.