Dated: 3rd July 2018
Thousands of international students have been left vying for Australian permanent residency in the lurch due to changes to state nomination for skilled visas in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory.
During recent months and years, a large number of prospective permanent residents – particularly international students from the Indian subcontinent – moved to Tasmania and the ACT for a relatively easier pathway to permanent residency.
But, the latest set of changes, including increased work experience in Tasmania and closing down of occupations in the ACT, has sent the visa aspirants scurrying for alternatives.Tasmania has jacked up the work experience requirement to six months from previous three before an applicant is sponsored for a provisional regional skilled visa (489) and skilled permanent nominated (190) visa.
State and territory governments in Australia run their own immigration program and can nominate visa applicants to fill the skill gaps and meet labour demands. Such a nomination carries additional points for immigration.
Many visa seekers, including international students, began heading to the ACT and Tasmania as a squeeze in the skilled visas was felt after the Department of Home Affairs last year merged a new visa stream exclusively for New Zealand citizens residing in Australia, with the Skilled Independent visa.
Under the New Zealand stream, 10,000 visa places are reserved for Kiwi residents of Australia, which effectively means a reduced number of visa grants to international students and overseas applicants in the skilled independent streams.
Applicants and migration agents are further concerned about the government’s decision to increase the minimum score on the general points test to 65 from previous 60 for applying for skilled visas.

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