The time of year has come around again when thousands of international students are completing their end of year examinations. For many these exams will be the final ones they need to finish their courses. It is an appropriate time to revisit the DIAC transitional arrangements about which Skilled Occupation List SOL students can use to lodge their GSM onshore applications.
We still speak to many students who are confused about which SOL they can use to lodge their applications and even which points system they can use to apply for the 885, 886 or 487 visas. We note when previewing DIAC`s web site regarding applying for the 485 Graduate visa and there is absolutely not mention that certain international students can use a different occupation list other than the one DIAC links to. I am sure that there will be many students who are not even aware that they qualify for the transitional arrangements.
In this article we will explain which one is appropriate for any given circumstance.
One day to remember
There is only one date to remember, the 8th February 2010. It was on this day DIAC announced the new skilled occupation lists and put into place laws dictating which group of international students can use which list. This has been labelled the Transitional Arrangements.
If you arrived in Australia after this date to begin your studies then this article is not for you so you can switch off to avoid confusion.
On the 8th February 2010 DIAC was very sneaky with the information they publicly released. It was time of great sensitivity amongst international students so we feel they deliberately omitted information to ensure students did not understand the full impact of these changes and thus limit the possibility of international student unrest.
At the time on DIAC`s web site great emphasis was placed upon the fact that those holding student visas on the 8th February 2010 could still use the old SOL when they came to lodge their Graduate 485 applications. What they failed to mention however, was that when it came time for you to lodge your 885, 886 or 487 visas, you could not use the old SOL, you had to use the new ones. This lack of information caused many students, right up to now, to believe that if they held a student visa on the 8th February 2010 they would be entitled to use the old SOL for their PR applications using the 885 or 886 visas or the temporary 487 visa.
Of course there is another problem. The old SOL no longer exists and some of the occupations on this list such as Computing Professionals nec, no longer exist. So when they say you can use the SOL as in effect on the 8th February 2010, this is again misleading for you cannot. The new SOL DIAC says you can use actually now has the new ANZCO occupations on it, not the old ASCO occupations which were in effect on the 8th February 2010. This has generated in many cases mass confusion. DIAC insists now everyone must use the ANZCO regardless if you are covered by the transitional arrangements or not.
This so called old SOL is now the new one, Schedule 2A and 2B. This can be found using the following link;
The conversion tables from ASCO to ANZCO are as follows;
On the 08/02/2010 had you applied for or held the Graduate 485 visa? If;
- Yes. = You can use the old SOL now called Schedule 2A and 2B and to apply for the 885,886 or 487 visa until 31/12/12
- No. = see next point
- On the 08/02/2010 did you hold a student visa?
- Yes. = You can use the old SOL now called Schedule 2A and 2B until the 31.12.12 to apply for the 485 visa. If you wish to apply for the 885, 886 or 487 visa then you need to use the new SOL.
- No. = to apply for any of the GSM onshore applications you need to use the new SOL.
Important!!!!! Remember that the 485 visa application requires a skill level of at least 60 or 50 points. On Schedule 2A and 2B DIAC permits you to use, there are a number of 40 point occupations on it but you cannot use them for the 485 visa. DIAC has sadly omitted this important fact.
Which Points test applies to me?
Remember the Graduate 485 visa does not have a points test to pass. However if you intend to apply for the 885, 886 or 487 visa then there are two points test you must be aware of, the old one, Schedule 6B and the new one, Schedule 6C.
- On the 08/02/2010 had you applied for or held the Graduate 485 visa?
- Yes. = You may use the old points Schedule 6B until the 31/12/2012. This means the old MODL list which existed before the 08/02/2010 can also be used to your advantage. You can view this list as follows;
2. No. = You must use the new points test Schedule 6C
which started on the 01.07.2011
You can also read DIAC`s information sheet if this
helps as well by using the following link;
If you have an occupation on the new SOL you are also entitled to use the new points test Schedule 6C if this is more beneficial to you, DIAC will actually assess you on both if the pass mark is not reached. The new SOL can be used at any date while your 485 remains valid.
The SOL choices
There are 5 Skilled Occupation Lists, just to make things interesting. There is Schedule 1, 2, 2A, 2B, and 2C. Only those international students who qualify for the transitional arrangements can use the additional lists of, 2A, 2B for the 485 visa and 2A, 2B and 2C for the 885, 886 and 487 visas.
If you wish to use the transitional arrangement to choose an occupation for your 485 Skilled Graduate visa then you can use 2A and 2B
Two real life examples.
Do you hold a 485 visa and it is going to expire this year but you cannot reach the right English level to reach the pass mark?
Do you hold a graduate 485 visa and it is going to expire but need more time to gain the work experience required to reach the pass mark?
If yes then read on.
The law governing the Transitional Arrangements is actually very straight forward. If you had applied for a 485 visa or held a 485 visa on the 8th February 2010 then then you have until the end of 2012 to take advantage of the old SOL and the old points test.
We have spoken to a number of former students recently who hold graduate visas but they are going to expire soon and they fit into the two scenarios above. There is a way to use the Transitional Arrangements law to your advantage.
From the Graduate 485 visa you can apply for a student visa onshore regardless of the student assessment level of your country if you have completed a course prior to your 485 application. This would then entitle you to enroll into a Diploma course which is closely related to your nominated occupation.
Before your 485 visa expires you can apply for your student visa. Then when you finish your Diploma before the end of 2012 and before your student visa expires, you can apply for the 886 or 885 or 487 using the old SOL and points system. By completing the Diploma this enables you to apply within 6 months of course completion without meeting the recent work experience requirement.
We have come across a number of clients who have been struggling to obtain the 6.0 on each components of the IELTS test and this has been stopping them lodging their PR visas. Faced with a 485 Graduate visa which is going to expire soon, this option listed above gives them more time to keep trying the IELTS test and hopefully by the end of the next course they will be ready.
Remember that to gain the exemption of the recent work experience requirement you cannot just complete a certificate course, unless it is a trade certificate. Otherwise all Australian qualifications must be at the Diploma level or higher to be use in the method described above.
We recommend all students who may consider using this suggested method gain the advice of a professional migration agent before starting their next course.