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The current pass mark for points-tested skilled migrants who plan to come to Australia to work will be reduced by five points from July 1 – the same date that the new SkillSelect register comes into effect.

An announcement made today (June 15) by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has revealed that the pass mark will be lowered from 65 points to 60 in an effort to attract “a broader range of people with the skills and attributes needed in Australia”.

Under the new SkillSelect scheme, any skilled migrants who do not have an employer sponsor but wish to live and work in Australia will need to complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) online.

These migrants will then be assessed on their skills and attributes and will be allocated a score on the points test.

Migrant scores can then be ranked against other Expressions of Interest and those with the highest number of points (or a particular skill which is in demand) may then be invited to make a skilled visa application.

SkillSelect will also streamline the existing Employer Nomination Scheme, as well as the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, into one single migrant selection register.

The changes to the points-based system is the latest in a number of migration reforms planned for the beginning of the new tax year.

From July 1, 457 visa holders will no longer be eligible to apply for the Living Away from Home Allowance (LAFHA), while other changes include a fast-tracked pathway to permanent residency for temporary sponsored workers already living in Australia.

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