The Commission seeks information on the potential impacts of tightening the points
test for the onshore independent visa subclass of the skilled immigration program,
including granting more points for:
• superior English-language proficiency
• better academic results
• qualification in under-supplied fields.
There is a case for adjusting the selection of skilled immigrants
Across the skill stream as a whole, immigrants’ skill levels are broadly similar to those of
the Australian-born population. However, within the skill stream there is significant
variation. The relatively poor labour market outcomes of onshore independent skilled
immigrants suggest that there is scope to improve the labour market outcomes of the
skilled immigration stream overall by adjusting the eligibility criteria for this visa subclass.
One option would be to radically change the approach to selection of all skilled
immigrants, such as by imposing a points test on all applicants, similar to the Canadian
system. However, this would not address the most problematic subclass — the onshore
independent subclass — which is already subject to a points test. It would add extra
administration to employer-nominated skilled immigration (which performs well). On
balance it is unlikely that imposing extra bureaucracy to the entire skilled immigration
program to address deficiencies in one visa subclass would improve skilled immigrants’
labour market outcomes significantly.
An alternative would be to make targeted adjustments to the eligibility criteria, including:
• increasing the points granted for superior English-language skills (currently superior
English attracts 20 points)
• granting more points to graduates who have studied in fields which are under-supplied
(or penalising graduates in over-supplied fields)
• granting more points to applicants who have achieved better academic results (currently
points are granted based on the award of a degree from a recognised institution;
academic success is not taken into account) — for example those with a distinction or
high distinction average, honours and higher degrees
• reducing the occupational ceilings for over-supplied fields
• capping the onshore independent visa subclass (which would implicitly increase the
points test pass mark for the subclass each year).
Of these options, the Commission favours the first three. Increasing the points granted to
applicants who have desirable human capital characteristics (English-language skills and
high marks in fields that are not over-supplied) would be consistent with the objective of
identifying immigrants who are likely to meet Australia’s longer-term labour market needs.
See full PDF here: http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/migrant-intake/draft/migrant-intake-draft.pdf
261313 - Software Engineer (190)
PTE = (20), Age = 26 (30), Experience = 5 years (0 - ACS deducted 5 years), Diploma (10) = 60
NSW SS = 60 + 5 points.
14-Nov-2016 - Direct Grant
26-Feb-2017 - Moved to Sydney