Independent Permanent Migration Australia The Points Test

Published: 18th August 2009
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Independent Permanent Migration - The Points Test

Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175

An Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 is the most beneficial visa to apply for as it allows you to remain permanently in Australia to live, work and study and, if you wish, to gain Australian citizenship.

Gaining permanent residency 'independently' in Australia means that you have gained your Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 without the sponsorship or support of either a state or regional body or a family member and have passed the "points test" on the basis of satisfying the criteria for award of points as set out below in this article.

The pass mark for grant of the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Subclass 175 permanent residence visa is 120 points.

Generally speaking, to be eligible for Australian permanent residence you will need to have formal qualifications and at least 12 months work experience in your trade, profession or skilled occupation in the 24 months immediately before your Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 application is lodged. You must also be able to prove through providing an International English Language Testing System score, that you have adequate English to work in your nominated trade, profession or skilled occupation. You must also be under 45 years of age.

Visa application can be lodged inside or outside of Australia

An application for the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 can be lodged inside or outside of Australia but the application is considered an "offshore" application which means that, even if you lodge the application in Australia, you will have to leave Australia to pick up your visa.

It also means that, unless you have another visa which allows you to remain in Australia while a decision is made, you you will also have to leave Australia to await your decision. This is because no bridging visa attaches to this application.

The Assessment Criterion - scoring 120 points

Calculating your points accurately and categorising your trade, profession or skilled occupation correctly is the key to successfully applying for the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175. An error in either of these areas often leads to the visa being refused.

Points are awarded to an applicant on the basis of the following criteria -

Age (15-30 points available)

You must be under 45 years of age when you apply for the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 or your application will be refused.

Age points are awarded in accordance with the following scale -

Up to the age of 29 years - 30 points are awarded,

30 - 34 years old - 25 points are awarded

35 - 39 years old - 20 points are awarded

40 - 44 years old - 15 points are awarded

English language (15-25 points available)

To work in a trade, profession or skilled occupation in Australia the Department of Immigration and Citizenship requires you to prove, through providing an International English Language Testing System score, that you have adequate English to work in your nominated trade, profession or skilled occupation.

Points are awarded as follows -

If you nominate a trade occupation -

15 points for scoring International English Language Testing System score 5 across the 4 major bands,

For all other nominated occupations or professions -

15 points for scoring International English Language Testing System score 6 across the 4 bands (competent English)

25 points for scoring International English Language Testing System score 7 across the 4 bands (proficient English)

The actual level of English required for each designated trade, profession or skilled occupation may further vary depending on the relevant assessing body's English language requirements for each occupation they are assessing.

You must submit the evidence of your International English Language Testing System score when you lodge your application for the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 so you will need to have your English skills tested before you apply unless you hold a passport issued by:

• the United Kingdom;

• the United States of America;

• Canada;

• Ireland; or

• New Zealand.

Nominated occupation (40-60 points available)

A maximum of 60 points to a minimum of 40 points are awarded in respect of the trade, profession or skilled occupation that you nominate in your Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 application.

Your application must nominate a trade, profession or skilled occupation that must be on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Skilled Occupation List, which can be found at http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/booklets/1121i.pdf

The points awarded to each particular trade, profession or skilled occupation are set out on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Skilled Occupation List. This list is updated from time to time so make sure you are looking at the current list.

Note: If your occupation is not on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Skilled Occupation List, then you cannot apply. Also note that if your skills, qualifications and work experience are not relevant to the occupation that you nominate, your Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 application will most likely not be successful. Relevance is obvious in most cases but may be an essential issue to an application that needs careful assessment.

Whether you are, or are not, a professional in your nominated trade, profession or skilled occupation is determined by the relevant assessing body designated to assess your skills and qualifications for the purposes of your Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 application. The details of these assessing bodies are also set out on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Skilled Occupation List: see further below.

Qualifications and Positive skills assessment (No points available - a basic requirement)

To apply for an Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 on the basis of points, it is a general rule that you must have been awarded a post secondary qualification which is at least equivalent to an Australian Bachelors degree (or higher), diploma or trade qualification (Australian Qualifications Framework certificate III or IV).

You must have your skills assessed, and have a positive outcome, by the relevant assessing authority as suitable for working in your nominated occupation: see the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Skilled Occupation List for the nominated assessing body for your occupation.

An Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 applicant with extensive skilled work experience may be eligible without post secondary qualifications but this would need to be assessed on a case by case basis and would be very much an exception to the rule in the current political and policy environment.

Specific Employment Qualifications (5-10 points available)

If you can establish that you have worked for 3 years out of the 4 years immediately prior to the date you lodge your Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 application the following points are available -


10 points - if you have nominated a 60 point occupation,

5 points - if you have nominated a 50 point occupation.

However, for some skilled occupations you may need to have a longer period than the 12-months minimum of specific work experience to be issued with a skills assessment and therefore be eligible for the grant of the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175.

Australian Employment Qualifications (10 points available)

10 points are available if you can establish that you have worked in Australia in your nominated trade, profession or skilled occupation for at least 12 months of the 4 years immediately prior to the date you lodge your Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 application then the following points are available -

 10 points - if you have nominated a 60 point occupation,

 5 points - if you have nominated a 50 point occupation.

Recent work experience (No points available - a basic requirement)

You must provide evidence that you have been in paid employment in your nominated trade, profession or skilled occupation, being an occupation which is on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Skilled Occupation List, for a minimum of 12 months in the 24 months immediately prior to the date that you lodge the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 application.

If you have not worked for at least this 12-month period in the 2 year period before the date you apply for the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175, you cannot apply under this permanent residence pathway. As an example, you may have worked for 8 out of the last 10 years in your nominated trade, profession or skilled occupation but have only worked 6 months in the last 2 years before you apply. You would therefore not be eligible to apply for the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175.

However, for some trades, professions or skilled occupations you may need to have a longer period than the 12-months minimum of specific work experience to be issued with a skills assessment and therefore be eligible for the grant of the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175.

Migration Occupation in Demand Qualifications (15-20 points available)

If your nominated trade, profession or skilled occupation is one that is on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Migration Occupation in Demand List, the following points are available -

20 points - You have worked at least 12 months of the last 4 years in that trade, profession or skilled occupation and have an offer of full time employment from an employer that employs 10 or more full time staff.

15 points - You have worked at least 12 months of the last 4 years in your nominated trade, profession or skilled occupation and your occupation is on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Migration Occupation in Demand List.

Other points available

Language Points

5 points are available if you have either -

 completed the equivalent to an Australian Bachelors Degree in a language other than English, or

are an Accredited (Level 3) interpreter by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

Partner Skills points
5 points are available if your partner is also a skilled and qualified professional and can meet further requirements set down by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Conclusions
When looking to gain a permanent residence visa the skilled independent pathway should be the first option considered by all skilled migrants seeking to secure a future in Australia. However, the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 application process and the law which lies behind it, are very complex.

Any person making this application without the advice and assistance of a specialist immigration lawyer, even if only for an initial consultation to confirm your own assessment, faces a very real chance of making essential errors that will lead to the refusal of the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 application and may mean the loss of the opportunity to enjoy a future in Australia.

Accordingly, It is our strongest recommendation that specialist immigration lawyers are instructed to assist you with the Australian Skilled Independent Migrant Visa Subclass 175 application process to maximize your chances of success.

This article should not be taken as legal advice and cannot be relied upon as a complete or accurate representation of the law. It is meant to be indicative only and a general informative guide to the visa application process.

Stewart Coulson

Turner Coulson Immigration Lawyers Australia

http://www.tcilawyers.com.au



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