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In recognition of the great need for skilled migrants in regional parts of Australia, including capital cities such as Adelaide and Hobart, the Government has been presented with a Regional and Economic Migration Initiative (REMI) to boost migration.

The plan proposes an additional 40,000 migrant places be opened up for migrants seeking to live in areas other than the biggest Australian cities. The initiative presents an exciting prospect for those seeking to migrate permanently to Australia, as the REMI has been described as providing a fast-tracked pathway to permanent residency for investors, small business proprietors, employer nominated, student and temporary visa holders.

With over 120,000 Skilled Stream places available in the Migration Programme over 2015-2016, it is an ideal time to achieve points that are readily available. 

As you may be aware, General Skilled Migration visas rely on points – the more you have, the better placed you are in the SkillSelect* system. In determining your points, the DIBP considers a range of information including your work experience, qualifications and importantly, the level of your English skills.
 
Scoring well on your English test is a quick way to boost your score increase your chances of obtaining a General Skilled Migration visa.

A new points test under the General Skilled Migration Scheme (GSM), as announced on 8 February 2010, may be introduced on 01 July 2011. 
The new points test will be focused on selecting highly skilled people.

Changes may include the award of extra points for e.g.:

The Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) has officially anounced a new points test to be introduced from 01.07.2011.

Queensland's State Migration Plan has come into effect; eligible occupation lists for visa subclasses 176, 886, 475 and 487 have been published.

The Northern Territory announced its State Migration Plan on 22 November 2010.

This list of eligible occupations contain large numbers of occupations - containing occupations NOT listed on the SOL - Schedule 3.

Canberra, the ACT, has announced its State Migration Plan on 08 November 2010.

Those lists of eligible occupations contain large numbers of occupations - exceeding the number of occupations on the SOL - Schedule 3.

Victoria has signed the Victorian State Migration Plan for visa sponsorships under Skilled-Sponsored and Skilled-Regional Sponsored Visa (subclasses 176/886, 475 and 487).

Victoria has issued two eligibilty lists (occupation lists).

Skilled visa applications, such as i.e.

New priority processing arrangements have come into effect since 01 July when the old Critical Skills List (CSL) was revoked.

New priorities are
1. ENS and RSMS visa applications

The new SOL came into effect on 01 July 2010 - it consists of 4 schedules.
The current SOL (schedule 3) – applies to all new General Skilled Migration visa applications and contains of just under 200 occupations, i.e.

The current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) has been replaced. The new SOL will apply to all new General Skilled Migration applications.

From 22 March 2010 there will be changed skills assessment criteria for teachers with Teaching Australia under the General Skilled Migration Program.

There will be i.e. new English language requirements:

From today the MODL (Migration Occupations in Demand List) has been abolished.

Later in 2010 a new SOL (Skilled Occupation List) will be introduced to replace the MODL and the CSL (Critical Skills List). This means changes to the current Priority Processing will occur.

The Migration Act will be amended to set a maximum number of visas that may be granted to applicants in any one occupation.

From 01.01.2010 VETASSESS will be changing requirements for skills assessments. These changes relate to managerial, administrative, professional and associate professional occupations.

From 01.01.2010

The financial requirements for a student visa have changed.

From 01.01.2010 International students are required to demonstrate that they have genuine access to sufficient funds to be granted a Student visa.

From 1 January 2010 a fee of A$200.00 is charged for all skilled sponsorship applications lodged with the Government of Western Australia.

From 01.01.2010 the English language requirement for all General Skilled Migration Visas (GSM) will be changed. All applicants who nominate a trade occupation from then on need to demonstrate a minimum of 6.

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