Australian Immigration Points For Skilled Visas
Discover your eligibility to emigrate
A stable economy, peaceful society and a high quality of life put Australia at the top of the list for the many UK citizens looking for a change of scenery.
In fact, the land Down Under is one of the most emigrated-to countries in the world. It’s been like this since time immemorial when the Aussie government had an immigration policy that was premised on the grim phrase: “Populate or perish”.
Things really started to change in the 1990s when the Australian government began encouraging skilled migration. The intention was, and remains, to grow and develop the economy through selective migration. In 2015, over 68% of visas were granted to skilled applicants.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection uses the immigration points test to ensure that those who are awarded visas are skilled enough to add value to Australia.
Let’s take a look at the points categories and what they mean for you.
Australian points categories
Generally, you will need to score 65 points to be able to apply for an Australian visa. There are various categories that determine how many points you can score; the list below will give you a general idea of how many points you could rack up.
Please note: It’s strongly advised that you contact a Registered Migration Agent (RMA) to ensure that your application has the highest chance of success. Many applicants will find that they easily cross the 65 point threshold, however, this is not confirmation that you will be granted a visa.
In addition to earning enough points, you must accurately demonstrate the nature of your skills and experience against a strict set of policies and criteria.
What skill have you nominated on your visa?
If you work in a job that is on the various skills in demand Lists, you have the option of applying for the most superior visa: Subclass 189 the Skilled Independent visa.
The number of points you can claim will vary depending on, amongst other things, whether or not your skill appears on state/territory shortage lists.
For a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489), you will need to be sponsored by a state government or a relative that lives in a designated area and can then sponsor you; you’ll earn extra points for this sponsorship.
To apply for a Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189), you don’t need to have a sponsorship, but your skill must appear on a shortage skills list.
The number of points you will earn in this category varies. It’s best to ask a Registered Migration Agent to give you an idea of how many points you are likely to be awarded in this category.
Work experience and qualifications
Experience in your nominated field is a great way to add extra points to your application. Holding a tertiary qualification also helps.
There are different points awarded for those who have gained experience outside and within Australia:
- Three years: 5 points
- Five years: 10 points
- Eight years: 15 points
Australian work experience:
- One year:5 points
- Three years: 10 points
- Five years: 15 points
- Eight years: 20 points
- Doctorate degree: 20 points
- Bachelor degree: 15 points
- Australian Diploma or trade qualification: 10 points
- A successful authorised skills assessment in a recognised qualification: 10 points
This is the only category that you cannot (as much as you might try to) improve your score in. First off, you have to be under 50 in order to apply. Generally, the younger you are, the more points you will earn.
- Age 40 – 44: 15 points
- Age 33 – 39: 25 points
- Age 25 – 32: 30 points
- Age 18 – 24: 25 points
There are visas for parents and grandparents who have children who have become Australian citizens. If you find yourself in this situation, complete our Australian immigration points calculator and we’ll see if we can find a way for you to secure a skilled migrant visa.
Competency in English
Like most English speaking countries, Australia gives preference to applicants who have a strong command of the English language. You can earn a significant amount of extra points if you have an excellent grasp of the English language.
- Superior: 20 points
- Proficient: 10 points
- Competent: 0 points
If you are found to have an English language ability that falls below competent, your application will not be approved.
Calculate Your Points Table
Points are awarded on the basis of the factors listed in the following table. All factors are assessed as they are at the time we secure your invitation to apply for your skilled visa allowing you to emigrate.
|English language ability||Competent English||0|
|Test results must be no older than three years immediately before the day on which the visa application was made.||Superior English||20|
|Skilled employment||Outside Australia: skilled employment in your nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation|
|In skilled employment for at least three but less than five years (of the past 10 years)|
|Only 20 points can be awarded for any combination of skilled employment in and outside Australia||5|
|In skilled employment for at least five but less than eight years (of the past 10 years)||10|
|In skilled employment for at least eight and up to 10 years (of the past 10 years)||15|
|In Australia: skilled employment in your nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation|
|In skilled employment for at least one but less than three years (of the past 10 years)||5|
|In skilled employment for at least three but less than five years (of the past 10 years)||10|
|In skilled employment for at least five but less than eight years (of the past 10 years)||15|
|In skilled employment for at least eight and up to 10 years (of the past 10 years)||20|
|Qualifications||Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or other doctorate of a recognised standard||20|
|At least a bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution or other degree of a recognised standard||15|
|Diploma or trade qualification completed in Australia||10|
|An award or qualification recognised by the assessing authority in the assessment of the skilled occupation||10|
|Australian study requirement||One or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications awarded by an Australian educational institution and meet the Australian study requirement||5|
|Specialist Education Qualification||Post Graduate Degree by Research through a course or courses taken for at least two academic years at an Australian educational institution||5|
|Other factors||Credentialled community language qualifications||5|
|Study in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area (excluding distance education)||5|
|Partner skill qualifications||5|
|Professional year in Australia for at least 12 months in the four years before the day you were invited to apply||5|
|Nomination/sponsorship (where required)||Nomination by state or territory government (visa subclass 190 only)||5|
|Nomination by state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member to reside and work in a specified/designated area (visa subclass 489 only)||10|
How to earn extra points
There are several ways that you can earn extra points to help you get over the 65 point threshold. You can:
- Complete various courses recognised by the Australian government
- Move to Australia with a partner who meets the basic requirements for a skilled migration visa
Please note: There are several conditions for using a partner to earn an extra five points. It’s best to chat with a Registered Migration Agent before you assume you will be granted these points.
What if you don’t think you’ll reach 60 points?
First things first, if you feel like you won’t pass the Australian immigration points test, don’t panic. There are several ways you can earn extra points. For instance, raising your English competency by brushing up on your language skills is a relatively easy way to earn more points.
Get in touch with us if you’re worried you won’t pass the points test. We’ll advise you on how you can maximise your chance of being eligible for an Australian visa.
Stages Of Securing Your Australian Work Visa
Filing a Skills Assessment
Should our initial assessment indicate that you are eligible for a positive skills assessment and EOI, we will prepare your skills assessment application. We will provide you with a full list of the information and documents required to support your application. When you have provided the necessary details and documents, along with the required assessment fee, we will lodge your application with the applicable skills assessing authority.
Lodging an Expression of Interest
Once you have received a positive skills assessment from the skills assessing authority, we will prepare and lodge your EOI. Although you do not need to provide supporting documents at this stage, you MUST be able to provide evidence that the information supplied in the EOI is correct at the time that you are invited to apply for the visa.
You will subsequently receive a result and points score from the Department of Home Affairs, which is used to rank you against other applicants who have lodged EOIs for this visa. The ranking is based partially on whether or not your occupation is a skill that Australia requires at the time your EOI is assessed. If your EOI is successful, you will be invited to lodge a visa application.
Submission of a Visa Application
Once the Department of Home Affairs has invited you to apply for this visa, we will prepare and lodge your visa application within the specified time frame, together with all of the documents that support the information that you provided in your EOI. This includes your skills assessment, English language test results, qualifications, work references and all other required documents.
Should your visa application be approved, you will be granted a permanent visa. You may be either in Australia or overseas when your visa is granted.