The Skilled Worker Immigration visa to obtain entry into Australia has recently undergone many changes to what was already a tough visa to apply for. The application process itself however is still as it was, though the eligibility points system has dramatically tightened up.
The procedure is as it’s always been, the first document you send is an ‘expression of interest’ form and then you’ve to wait for an invite from the government’s immigration service before you can apply. This process takes on average from 4-6 months. Once you have submitted your application it will then be assessed which can be a long process, as all your documents need to be checked as well as running background, police and medical tests to coincide with your application.
In 2012 there were many changes made to the actual prices of visas, and all of them have been made increased, some significantly so. New prices can be found on a ‘price estimator’ application on the official Australian government website, though this is just to give you an idea and will not be the exact price for each applicant.
Some occupations have been removed from the sponsorship list as a result of tightening up on immigration, however others have been added and some surprisingly so such as a kennel hand. Tradesmen such as electricians and plumbers now need to be fully licensed in their native country before entering Australia and there needs to be a genuine skill shortage in your elected field. The current passmark needs to exceed 60 points, and the higher the better to maximise your chances. Your application can be rejected at any point during the application process without any explanation. Australia can afford to be extremely choosy with who it admits and will only now admit those that can prove they can significantly contribute to Australian society.
The English language test has been strengthened with the tests more difficult and a higher score needed to pass. As before, previous qualifications in the study of the English language will be of huge benefit to you and your application.
It will go massively in your favour if you hold your passport from the following countries – New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, England or America. Obviously this is something you have no control over but it is considered within your application.