Points Calculator for Australian Immigration
If you are looking to move to Australia and work here on either a temporary or permanent residency basis under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program, you will need to qualify for your visa. To do that you will need enough “points”. Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) operate a points system and if you want to know if you have a chance of qualifying for one of these types of visa, a good place to start is to see how many points you might get.
There are lots of points calculators to be found on the Internet and some are quite whizzy. You know, answer some questions selecting your answers from the drop-down menus and all of a sudden, your points total appears at the foot of the page.
No such technology here, but not many of those websites will tell you this…
Australia opens its doors mainly to young, intelligent, skilled and qualified people, people with good English language skills, people that can offer something to Australia. It is a very selective process.
For older people, people without skills, people who do not speak good English, the answer is almost certainly “No”.
That is a very cold and hard view of how the system works, but it is probably a true reflection of how it is for the vast majority of people looking to move to Australia. That said, there are over 130 different types of visas and there will be, as there always have been in the past, exceptions to the above rules.
The list of exceptions is probably quite long, from refugees to the extremely rich. But for the vast majority, it’s all about points.
So, grab yourself a low tech pen and an even lower tech scrap of paper and work out how many points you might get right now.
First, you get points for your age:
The basic requirement is that you are under the age of 50, but if you are…
- Age 45 – 49 you can apply but you get 0 points for your age.
- Age 40 – 44 = 15 points
- Age 33 – 39 = 25 points
- Age 25 – 32 = 30 points
- Age 18 – 24 = 25 points
Update: Some people are unsure about how many points they get for their age, it’s very simple. Example; somebody who is 39 years and 11 months old still falls into the 33 – 39 years category. Only when they turn 40 do they go into the 40 to 44 category.
Command of the English language:
- Superior = 20 points
- Proficient = 10 points
- Competent = 0 points
Your English language skills are assessed using the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. There are four parts to this test, speaking, reading, listening and writing. To be superior, you will need to score a minimum of 8 for each. To be proficient, you need to score 7 and to be competent you need to score 6 as a minimum for each of the four.
If you hold a passport from the UK, the USA, Ireland, Canada or New Zealand, you automatically qualify as competent, but that still gives you zero points. If you need more points, you will need to sit the test. Even though competent doesn’t score you any points, you still need to prove your competency to continue.
Please be aware that there are two types of IELTS test; the General test and the Academic test. The Academic test, which is the more difficult of the two, is accepted by everyone; the General test is only accepted by some. The test that you take largely depends on what is required by the kind of work that you do and/or the requirement of potential sponsors.
To apply for a Skilled Independent visa you do not require sponsorship, but your occupation must be on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL).
To apply for a Skilled Regional Sponsored visa your skill also has to be on the SOL mentioned above and you need to be sponsored by an Australian relative who lives in that area, or your job needs to be on the State/Territory Nominated Skilled list and you need to be nominated by the Australian state or territory government. In either of these two situations you will score an extra 10 points.
You may also want to keep an eye on this page which contains information about Recent Changes.
To apply for a Skilled Sponsored visa you will need nomination by a state or territory government and your skill must be on the above-mentioned State/Territory Nominated Skilled list. This will score you an additional 5 points.
Work experience in your nominated skill:
You can get extra points depending upon how much time you have spent being employed in your nominated skill. How many years experience do you have out of the last 10 years in your nominated occupation? This can sometimes include work in a closely related occupation.
If your work experience is from overseas…
- Three years = 5 points
- Five years = 10 points
- Eight years = 15 points
But you will get more points for work experience gained in Australia in your nominated occupation…
- 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
There are several ways to earn extra points:
- Studying a course in Australia that meets certain requirements = 5 points
- By meeting the Australian Study Requirement (above) while studying in a regional area = 5 points
- NAATI accreditation = 5 points
- If your partner meets the basic requirements for a skilled migration visa = 5 points
- By completing a Professional Year course specified by the Minister = 5 points
How many points do you need?
The current pass mark is 60 points.
If you are applying for Skilled Independent visa, then you will need 60 points. If you are applying for a Skilled Sponsored visa, then you only need 60 points before you can start looking for a sponsor as you will get an additional 5 points should you find one. If you are applying for a Skilled Regional Sponsored visa, then you need 55 points as you will get an additional 10 points if you’re nominated or sponsored.
Getting the required number of points does not guarantee you a successful application.
Please also be aware that if you do successfully apply, you and all those included in your application will, at some stage, have to pass a medical examination. You and your secondary applicant will also have to be of “good character” and this will almost certainly involve you providing DIAC with a police certificate.
This then is my interpretation of all the information I gleaned from the Australian government’s page about point’s calculation. If you want the full details you can get them directly by visiting immi.com.au
What if you don’t get enough points?
It’s not always over if you don’t get enough points, there’s often things you can do to improve your tally. Just about the only thing you cannot change is your age, but you could, for example, try and improve your IELTS score, wait until you have a few more years experience or maybe come here to Australia to study.
If you need professional help with this, I highly recommend my Visa Assessment Service.
Please read before commenting below:
Update November 2013
Many people are asking me how many points they get for their work experience, education, qualifications and even age. This points calculator is a guide only, how many points you actually get can often take a good deal of thorough investigation.
Where did you get your qualifications? Are your qualifications recognised here? Has your work experience been relevant? Do you have any work experience in a closely related environment?
The complications are too numerous to mention.
So it is impossible for me to calculate how many points any of you might be getting no matter how much information you give me.
Up until now I have tried to answer people with these questions, if you look at the answers I have given you will see how difficult or impossible that has been.
Only the questions about age, and maybe IELTS, have straightforward answers. By the way, if you’re not sure how many points you get for your age, please see my answers to those with the same questions below.
So I would appreciate people no longer asking me to calculate their points for them, those who do will no longer get an answer. For professional assistance with this, again I recommend my Visa Assessment Service.