Getting Your PR - Top 10 tips for International Students 2013 (Part Two)

webster By Mark Webster
Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Back in 2009, Acacia created an article on Getting your PR - Top 10 Tips for International Students.

The 2009 article proved to be one of our most popular articles.

However, Migration Regulations have changed significantly since 2009 and so we have created a top 10 list for 2013 to keep you updated on the best tips for getting your Australian PR.

The article is broken into three parts:

4. Get Nominated By A State

State nominaton can be very advantageous for international students because:
  • Extra points: 5 for sponsorship to live in a metropolitan area and 10 to live in a regional area
  • Wider List of Occupations: students can nominate any occupation on the CSOL rather than the shorter SOL
  • SkillSelect Priority: students obtain an invitation as soon as the state or territory government completes the nomination, rather than having to wait for the fortnightly automated invitation rounds

NSW greatly expanded their state nomination program in 2012-13, including a wide range of occupations, reducing the work experience and English language requirements.

Other state and territories tend to require students to have studied in the area and/or have a job offer there.

There are two GSM visas which states and territories can nominate for:

5. English Language Ability

All GSM visas require at least competent English (6 or more in each of the 4 components of IELTS).

One of the best ways to improve your chances of qualifying for general skilled migration is to achieve a level of English higher than competent English.

If you can obtain a score of 7 or more in each component or the IELTS, or a "B Pass" in the Occupational English test, this will give you 10 points.

A score of 8 or more in each component of IELTS, or an "A Pass" in the OET will give you 20 points - with this level of English, it is difficult for an international student not to achieve a passing score in the points test.

We recommend that you undertake IELTS preparation courses. The IELTS test is not just about how well you communicate in English - understanding how the test works is also very important.

6. Work Experience Points

Up to 20 points are available for work experience. Work experience up to 10 years old can be counted, and both work experience in Australia and overseas can be counted.

For instance, if you have worked prior to studying in Australia, your work experience might give you some points.

To be able to count work experience, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Closely Related: only work experience in your occupation, or closely related skilled occupation, can be counted for points
  • Post Qualification: work experience must be after completion of the relevant entry level qualification. This would generally be a bachelor degree, diploma or trade certificate depending on your occupation. Work whilst studying in Australia would not count, unless you had already completed an entry level qualification in your home country prior to studying here.
  • At least 20 hours per week: only weeks where you have worked for at least 20 hours can count as skilled.
  • In compliance with visa conditions: if you have breached visa conditions (eg by breaching the 40 hours per fortnight student visa condition 8105), your work experience will not count.

7. Study In Australia

Completing qualifications in Australia can assist greatly in meeting the pass mark. For instance:
  • 2 Academic Years: if you complete a qualification taking at least 2 academic years of study in Australia, this will give you 5 points and open the possibility of obtaining a Graduate Temporary Visa.
  • Degree Level or Higher Qualification: many SOL occupations require a degree for skills assessment. Completing a degree or higher in Australia is also necessary for the Post Study Work stream of the Graduate Temporary Visa.
  • Professional Year: professional years are available for Accounting, Engineering and IT students. Students can complete a combination of classroom and on-the-job training after completion of their main course, generally whilst holding a Graduate Temporary visa. This provides 5 extra points, as well as an English language concession for Accounting students.
  • Regional Study: students completing 2 years of study in a regional campus receive 5 extra points. This also gives better access to state nomination opportunities for states and territories which require studies to be completed locally (eg Northern Territory).

Need Help With Your Visa?

If you would like a personalised assessment of your best pathway, please contact Acacia for a consultation. We will provide you with an immigration roadmap which goes through all your options, costs and processing times so that you know where you stand.

Onto Part Three- Getting your PR in Australia

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