January 6, 2017

Changes to the Migration Points System

Changes to the Points System
We’ve got news! The points test is undergoing some changes. Effective 10 September 2016, an additional 5 points will be awarded to those with ‘specialist educational qualifications’.
The amendment is as follows:
(5A) For Schedule 6D, a person meets the requirements for the award of a specialist educational qualification if the person satisfies the Minister that:
(a) The person has met the requirements for the award, by an Australian educational institution, of:
(i) a Masters degree by research; or
(ii) a Doctoral degree; and
(b) the degree included study for at least 2 academic years at the instituion in a field of education specified in an instrument under subregulation (5B)
(5B) The Minister may, by legislative instrument, specify a field or fields of education for the purposes of paragraph (5A)(b)
The instrument, and therefore exact fields of study have not yet been released, but it is “intended that initially the specified fields  will be science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or information and communication technology”.
This will affect General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas:
  • Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa
  • Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa
Currently, the points test looks like this:
Doctorate from an Australian education institution                             (20 points)
or other doctorate of a recognised standard
At least a Bachelor degree from an Australian institute                       (15 points)
or other degree of a recognised standard
Australian Study Requirement
One or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications                       (5 points)
awarded by an Australian educational institution and

meet the Australian Study Requirement

To be eligible for the 5 points for specialist educational qualifications, you will need to:
  1. Have a Masters by research degree or Doctoral degree, AND
  2. Studied at an Australian educational institution, AND
  3. Studied at least 2 academic years at the Australian educational institution in one of the specified fields.
This means that if you have a Doctorate in one of the specified fields and satisfy all other requirements, you would receive a total of 30 points! Those with Masters by research in one of the specified fields, fulfilling all other requirements, would be awarded a total of 25 points.
For example, if you have a PhD in Science, and completed this qualification over at least 2 years in the University of New South Wales (UNSW), you would have a total of 30 points – 20 from your PhD, 5 for satisfying the Australian study requirement (ASR) and another 5 for have done so in an Australian educational institution