How to Prepare for Your Skilled Visa Application for Post COVID-19

A lot of processes globally have been held up by the COVID-19 outbreak, and the process of migrating to Australia or getting a skilled visa is no different. This has caused great frustration for all concerned.

In early July, the Australian government announced that the State & Territory nomination program will be on hold until the federal government’s allocation of state nomination places for the program year 2020-21 is finalised. It is expected that clarity on this will be released in Oct 2020.

With the General Skilled Migration (points tested applications) scheme being temporarily on hold, it is a good time to get your application ready and prepare for a higher score in the points test, which is the basis of the General Skilled migration program.

Under the General Skilled Migration program, skilled applicants can choose to apply for certain visas if their skills are needed by certain states and territories in Australia. There are set quotas from the government allowing applicants to apply for Skilled Nominated (Permanent) Subclass 190 or the newly introduced visa Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491.

While waiting for the State and Territory nomination to reopen – hopefully in October 2020 – our team of migration agents and immigration lawyers have put together some tips and ideas for you to optimise your score and increase your chances of fulfilling the dream of migration to Australia.

 

Tips from AustraliaMigrate’s team for successful skilled migration to Australia:

1.       English Proficiency

A particularly important factor that could improve your score and increase your immigration chances. All applicants going through the General Skilled Migration program are required to be competent in English as part of the eligibility criteria. More points are allocated to those who exceed the criterion threshold, making the applicants earn more points and improve their overall score.

Those who can prove they are proficient in English (a score of 7 in each IELTS component, at least ‘B’ in each OET component, minimum of 24 in Listening, 24 Reading, 27 Writing, 23 Speaking in TOEFL iBT, at least 65 in each PTE Academic component or at least 185 in each Cambridge (CAE) component) can get 10 points added to their score.

For those who can prove they have a superior English level, 20 points will be added to their scores if they get any of the following: a score of 8 in each IELTS component, at least ‘A’ in each OET component, minimum of 28 in Listening, 29 Reading, 30 Writing, 26 Speaking in TOEFL iBT, at least 79 in each PTE Academic component or at least 200 in each Cambridge (CAE) component.

During this time, you can consider working on enhancing your language skills and repeating the English test, if required,  in an attempt to achieve a higher score. You can check the most current English requirements on the Department of Home Affairs website.

 

2.       Skills Assessment

Since this visa is for skilled migrants, a critical factor is to have your skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority of your occupation in Australia, which relates to your nominated occupation. This is a vital aspect of a skilled migration visa application since a positive skills assessment is the only proof that your skills from overseas have been evaluated as suitable for the nominated occupation in Australia.

There are many assessment authorities which are independent of the Department of Home Affairs. Each assessing authority has its own assessment criteria, procedures and timeframes. It is not just about demonstrating your skill set since certain occupations have minimum criteria relating to qualifications and work experience.

Since it can take potential immigration applicants a long time to put together the required list of evidence and documents, it is best to start this process as soon as possible so that your application is well-supported when things re-open again.

You will need to have your English test completed and skills assessed by your assessing authority before submitting your EOI (expression of interest).

 

3.       Other Languages

If you speak a language other than English fluently, you can score an additional 5 points through the Credentialed Community Language Test (CCL). This is a good time to score 5 more points by getting accredited by the relevant authority NAATI (the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters).

Use this wait time now to obtain the community language points.

 

4.       Documentation

     The immigration process can be complex with many documents to prepare; therefore, many applicants seek help from a registered migration agent or an immigration lawyer to ensure the visa process is as smooth as possible. While you are waiting for the new migration program to reopen, it is best to book a consultation with a migration agent or lawyer to get the best advice for your application. An invitation to lodge a visa application may be issued within a short timeframe after you submit your EOI when things are back to normal, especially if your score is high enough to compete with the top applications. Some documents might also require an official translation by an accredited translator.

 

5.       Strategy

It is crucial to have a strategy in place for your Skilled Migration visa application. You need to ensure everything is in order and that you are meeting all the requirements for successful expression of interest and an application.

Create your strategic migration plan today by talking with our professional migration agents and immigration lawyers to help you assess your case. We not only help with the visa part but also the skills assessment which can be very complex and detailed. Our service is to provide assistance from A- Z. At AustraliaMigrate you are in safe hands.