2011 Will See End to Permanent Australian Family Sponsorship!

Much has been talked about the soon-to-be effective new Points Test under the Australian General Skilled Migration Program. Many industry groups have criticized the change to be brought to a number of visa options under the GSM program, who believe the test is not likely to cater to the nation’s skill requirements at the first place. As the country is all set to make the new Points Test effective from 1 July, 2011 onwards, here is a striking detail of the same.

The Points System announced by Australian Immigration Minister in November is likely to affect the skills visa applicants who seek to immigrate on the basis of family sponsorship. Not to mistake, the new changes to the General Skilled Migration Program is not going to restrict family-sponsored foreign skilled workers from immigrating to Australia. The only change the new system would bring is- family sponsorship for a permanent skilled visa will no longer be in place.

We have seen Australia has been allowing its citizens and residents to sponsor their eligible family member(s) back in their home countries- for permanent (Subclass 176 Skilled Sponsored), as well as temporary (Subclass 475 Skilled Regional Visa) visas. But, with the abandonment of the permanent visa option, applicants will be left with the Subclass 457 program.

While the Oz immigration department is eliminating the option of permanent skilled visas for family sponsored foreign workers, at the same time it is also acting tough on other available option- the temporary skilled visa. As of now, a foreign skilled worker who has an Australian citizen (basically family member/relative) to sponsor him/her is being awarded with 25 points. But, with the implementation of the new Points Test next year, the points to be awarded for having an Australian sponsor would be only 10, which is a drastic cut!

Australia’s new Points Test is a strategic move by the country’s immigration department to revamp its General Skilled Migration Program. While formatting the same, authorities kept in mind the benefit the amendment would have on the Oz economy.

Our view: Implementing a strategy to meet the skills shortages of the country, thereby helping the economy, Australia would probably miss out on some of the best talents from overseas who want to join their family members in Australian, as well as contribute to its economy!

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