Visa applicants in skilled migration program are keen to gain extra points after the federal government announced significant changes in the point system from 1 July 2018.
Australia’s skilled migration program is a points-based system designed to attract highly qualified and experienced professionals to best meet Australia’s skills needs.
There are a number of skilled migration visas that require applicants to score a minimum number of points to qualify for permanent skilled migration.
After the government’s recent announcement of increasing points threshold from 60 to 65, many prospective applicants are looking for alternative ways to boost their chances in the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa point system.
Some of the new applicants now rely on boosting their points by clearing language test from National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).
NAATI offers Credentialed Community Language (CCL) Test that gives 5 points to the prospective applicants for their point-based GSM visa.
CCL Exam determines an applicant’s ability to interpret the conversation between two speakers speaking different languages.
Harpal Singh is a NAATI accredited translator and interpreter for Punjabi-English and he also serves as a member of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) and the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (NZSTI).
Mr Singh told SBS Punjabi that in the last month only there has been an increase in the number of people who wish to take NAATI’s CCL test to gain five points for skilled migration point test.
“This follows government’s recent amendment to the point test threshold, and now everyone is keen to meet the desired criteria by taking up this examination,” he said.
“There’re two options, either you score 7 each in the English proficiency test IELTS or you clear NAATI’s CCL test. Often people find the second option easier as it is conducted at a conversational level compared to the academic nature of IELTS.”
Mr Singh explained that it should be clear that an individual who passes a CCL test is not certified to work as an interpreter or translator.
“This system is designed to benefit people who have multilingual skills. It is only supposed to help them gain five bonus points for their points-based visa applications made to the Department of Home Affairs. This does not provide them with a work opportunity in this field,” he says.
“The overall pass rate of the CCL test is above 50% and that’s why we see a large number of applicants opting for this test.
“It looks quite promising compared to the pass percentage of the test conducted to get certification as an interpreter or translator, which sits well below 15%.
Mr Singh explained that an overwhelming number of candidates take the CCL test lightly and come unprepared for the exam. “Just don’t be overconfident… It is only the practise that will make you through, so put some time and sincere effort if you wish to succeed,” he suggests.
Melbourne-based migration agent told that the recent change in the point test could be attributed to the high calibre of prospective applicants who express their interest in the GSM program.
“I often deal with Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu speaking clients from Indian-subcontinent and I see a huge interest in them to take the NAATI test to gain 5 extra points,” he said.
“The test success rate seems ok but the problem lies in registering for the examination. My clients are struggling to book sessions as there’re no seats available until December.
“It seems like a poorly organised system. I went to check NAATI’s Melbourne office who suggested they don’t have enough resources or manpower to cope-up with this huge increase in the number of applicants.
“The applicants who are desperate to gain this bonus may think of taking this test in the less crowded cities rather than doing it in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. But I seriously doubt if there are any seats left in those cities.