From 1 January 2010 the English language requirements for onshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas have changed:
- The English language requirements have increased for applicants nominating trade occupations (Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) Level 4 occupation) so that you no longer gain points for 'vocational English'.
- You no longer have the option to receive points for the General Points Test for 'vocational English'.
- If applying with 'concessional competent English' you will need to attain an average score of 6 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS);
- If you are applying with 'concessional competent English', you will no longer be restricted to being nominated by a State or Territory, or to being sponsored by a person who resides in a State or Territory. It will also no longer be a requirement that arrangements are established for suitable English language training, or that you will be required to enroll in an English language course and pay the fee.
- If the primary applicant is relying on partner points in the General Points Test, no points will be awarded if the partner has 'vocational English' and if claiming 'concessional competent English'. In this situation you would not have met the new requirements as set out for primary applicants.
You will now need to have a higher level of English ability if you wish to come under the General Skilled Migration visa scheme. Despite the changes there are still many tradespeople and professionals around the World who still qualify for the Australian General Skilled Migration category.