The General Skilled Migration (GSM) program relies on a Points Test mechanism where points are awarded to an applicant in relation to a broad range of factors with the view to attracting the highest quality prospective migrants.
States and Territories can nominate applicants under the GSM program for skilled visas with the Department of Home Affairs so every year each state and territory receive specific quotas from the government to nominate applicants on Skilled Nominated (Permanent) Subclass 190 visas and Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 visa.
The question is then, what can you do to maximize your nomination options? We have a few ideas!
1. Prepare & take your English test
All GSM visas require at least Competent English however this is only for eligibility criteria. If you want to earn points for your language skills and maximise your chances of obtaining state nomination, then you will need to score more.
You could score 10 or 20 points in the points test for skilled migration if you achieve a score of:
10 points: Proficient English:
- IELTS: at least 7 in each component; or
- OET: at least 'B' in each component; or
- TOEFL iBT: 24 in Listening, 24 Reading, 27 Writing, 23 Speaking; or
- PTE Academic: At least 65 in each component; or
- Cambridge (CAE): At least 185 in each component
20 points: Superior English:
- IELTS: at least 8 in each component; or
- OET: at least 'A' in each component; or
- TOEFL iBT: 28 in Listening, 29 Reading, 30 Writing, 26 Speaking; or
- PTE Academic: At least 79 in each component; or
- Cambridge (CAE): At least 200 in each component
Note that an English result may also be required as part of your skills assessment application.
2. Prepare & apply for your Skills Assessment
To support your visa application, you must provide a positive skills assessment from the specified assessing authority and in relation to your nominated occupation. A positive skills assessment provides evidence that your skills have been assessed as suitable for your nominated occupation by the relevant assessing authority hence, you are the right candidate to get employment in your selected occupation.
Each assessing authority has its own assessment procedures and timeframes. Not only must you demonstrate your skillset, but there are also minimum criteria you will need to meet in terms of qualifications and work experience. Note that it can take applicants a very long time to gather the required list of evidence and documents. The documents that you collect and organise for your skills assessment will also be helpful later on, for your visa application.
A skills assessment is only valid until the specified expiry date on the assessment, or when a period of three years from the date of issue has elapsed, whichever occurs first. It is therefore sensible to have a clear timeline for the overall process in mind. It is recommended to contact the relevant assessing authority to arrange your skills assessment well before you submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).
3. Do you speak a language other than English? Get ready for the CCL Test!
If you are fluent in a language other than English then the ‘Credentialed Community Language Test’ is something you may want to consider.
You could obtain 5 points in the points test for skilled migration if you have “credentialed community language qualifications”.
To be awarded the community language points, you must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).
4. Be documentation ready
Prior to lodging an Expression of Interest (EOI) and while you wait for the states and territories to reopen their nomination programs, it is highly recommended that you complete your Skills assessment and English Language Test.
Once the new program opens, an invitation to make a visa application may be issued within a short timeframe after you submit your EOI. You must be able to support the claims you make in your EOI with documentation and have this ready to provide when making your application.
Don’t forget that you may need to translate some of your supporting documents!
5. Talk to your Registered Migration Agent. Build your strategy!
It is important to plan each step of the process before just 'leaping in' and applying for an English test or a Skill assessment or making an Expression of Interest in SkillSelect.
Each component of the process involves a great deal of preparation time and cost and without a strategy, you may find for example that your skills assessment outcome or English test result cannot be used down the track when the time comes to apply for the visa.
It is crucial to remember that requirements can and do change so it is important to keep checking as you go to ensure that you have not been adversely affected by any changes.
Starting a conversation with a Registered Migration Agent early in the process may help you assess your options and develop the best strategy for you and your family.
Registered Migration Agent