Family Visa

How does the points test work?

The points test is the mechanism used to by the Australian government to select skilled migrants who offer the best in terms of economic benefit to Australia.
The points test awards points for skills and attributes considered to be in need in Australia.

The points test favours:-

  • English proficiency
  • skilled work experience
  • higher level qualifications obtained in Australia and overseas
  • younger age ranges

The pass mark is the total amount of points required to be eligible for the grant of a SkillSelect visa. It is currently set at 60 points.

Even though the points test may look easy, it is fraught with difficulties and we advise our client not to rely on their own calculations. If you read our recent blog post here, you'll find out why.

Australia Visa Success

SkillSelect points for English language skills

The minimum English language requirement is Competent - at least a score of 6 in each of the four components of the IELTS test.
No points are awarded for Competent English, but if you have obtained this score, you are able to apply for a SkillSelect visa as long as you score a minimum of 60 points overall based on other points test criteria.
Applicants who hold a passport and from the UK, Canada, NZ, USA or Ireland are deemed to meet competent English language requirement without undertaking an IELTS test.
To claim points for proficient or superior English language all applicants, including UK, Canada, NZ, USA and Ireland, must complete an English language test. The test must be completed before the visa application is lodged.

The following points are awarded for English language ability:-

  • Superior English (IELTS 8 minimum score) - 20
  • Proficient English (IELTS 7 minimum score) - 10
  • Competent English (IELTS 6 minimum score) - 0

SkillSelect point for past employment.

Points are awarded for employment in your skilled occupation, either in Australia or overseas.
Where applicable, you can claim points for both Australian skilled employment and overseas skilled employment under the points test.
The maximum number of points that may be claimed for a combination of Overseas and Australian employment is 20.

Points for skilled employment in your nominated occupation:-
Length of employment overseas undertaken in the last 10 years:-

  • At least 3 but less than 5 years - 5
  • At least 5 but less than 8 years - 10
  • At least 8 and up to 10 years -15

Length of employment in Australia undertaken in the last 10 years:-

  • At least 1 but less than 3 years - 5
  • At least 3 but less than 5 years - 10
  • At least 5 but less that 8 years - 15
  • At least 5 but less than 8 years - 20

SkillSelect points for Educational/Qualifications

Points are only be awarded for your highest qualification attained.
That means if you have completed a Bachelors Degree and a Doctorate Degree, you will only be awarded points for your Doctorate.
Non Australian qualifications may not be regarded as equivalent.

The points test awards points for education/qualifications are:

  • Doctorate - 20
  • Bachelors degree (including Honours and Masters Degrees) - 15
  • Diploma or trade qualification - 10

SkillSelect points for Studying in Australia

5 points can be claimed by those applicants who have studied in Australia.
To be eligible the study must have been towards an Australian qualification, undertaken while the applicant was in Australia on a valid student visa.

The study must have been completed as the result of a course of study at least two academic years (92 weeks as registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS)).
The study must be closely related to the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation.

SkillSelect points for Studying while living in a regional area in Australia

An additional 5 points can also be claimed by applicants who satisfy the Australia study requirement explained above, while studying in regional Australia.

SkillSelect points for Completion of a Professional Year in Australia

5 points can also be claimed by applicants who completed an approved Professional Year in Australia in their nominated occupation or a closely related skilled occupation.

SkillSelect points for Credentialed Community language skills

5 points can also claimed by applicants who meet the requirements for credentialed community language.

To claim points, applicants must be accredited at the para-professional level or above by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) as either a translator or interpreter.

SkillSelect points for Partner skills

5 points may be awarded if your partner satisfies the threshold criteria for a visa.

Your partner must meet the following criteria:-

  • be included in your visa application
  • not be an Australian permanent resident or citizen
  • be less than 50 years old at the time of application
  • nominate an occupation on the same SOL and obtain a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority.
  • have been employed in the nominated skilled occupation for at least 12 months in the 24 months before the application is lodged, or alternatively meet the Australian Study Requirement.
  • have Competent English

SkillSelect points for State or Territory nomination for a Subclass 190 visa

You will be awarded 5 points if you are nominated by a state or territory government for a subclass 190 visa.

SkillSelect points for State or Territory nomination for a Subclass 489 visa

You will be awarded 10 points if you are nominated by a state or territory government for a subclass 489 visa.

SkillSelect points for Designated Area sponsorship for a Subclass 489 visa

You will be awarded 10 points if you are sponsored by an eligible family member* for a subclass 489 visa.
Your eligible family member must currently live in a Designated Area and while you are on the subclass 489 visa you and your family must also live in a Designated Area.
You are not required to live in the same Designated Area as your sponsoring family member.
Click here for a list of Designated Areas postcodes for the purposes of the subclass 489 visa:

*An eligible family member must have turned 18, be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or Eligible New Zealand citizen (naturalised) who usually resides in a Designated Area of Australia. The eligible family member must be either:

1. a parent, or

2. a child or stepchild, or

3. a brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step brother, step sister, or

4. an aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step aunt, step uncle, or

5. a nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step nephew, step niece, or

6. a grand parent, or

7. a first cousin of yourself or your partner, who is also included in your application.

We strongly advise you NOT to calculate your own points!

We find that most people over estimate their points which can lead to serious problems. Find out more in our recent blog post here.

Book a face to face, Skype or phone consultation with one of Australian Express Migration Solution's experienced and expert Registered Migration agents, and we'll calculate your points properly! Book here or call us on +61 39002 1808 and we'll book one for you.