If you are looking to move to Australia and work here on a skilled visa under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program, you will need to first qualify for your visa.
There are points based visas (Skilled Independent, Skilled Nominated or Skilled Regional) and also temporary and permanent non-points based (sponsored) visas available, but if you wish to apply for a points based visa you will need enough points to receive an invitation to lodge an application.
Australia’s Department of Home Affairs operate a points system and if you want to know if you have a chance of qualifying for one of these points based visas, you will need 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 age, qualifications, skills, understanding of the English language and very often, points.
It can be very difficult working out whether you are in a position to lodge an application or not and if you need professional assistance, do check out my Visa Assessment Service.
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.
No applications can be made after 45 years except where there are age exemptions (ENS SC444 visa holders and SC189 NZ citizens pathway visa).
These are the points you get 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 at least 7 for each part and to be competent you need to score 6 as a minimum for each of the four.
Update: So, it is not the average of your four scores, it’s not the highest, it is actually the lowest score you get that determines your overall score and whether you are Superior, Proficient or Competent. For this reason, many people struggle with IELTS.
Fortunately, since I initially created this page, more English-language tests have been introduced that are accepted by the Australian government. According to my MARA agent, they are:
I’m not fully sure how the scoring system of any of the above tests work, but I have had many readers saying that they found the Pearson’s test, the one first in this list, preferable to IELTS.
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. For other passport holders, even though competent doesn’t score you any points, you still need to take the test toprove your competency to continue.
Please be aware that there are two types of IELTS test; the General test and the Academic test. The general IELTS is the standard English test, and the Academic is required by certain academic or medical/specialist occupations. 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.
In April 2017 the Australian Government Abolished 457 Visas. They also changed the nature of the skills lists.
The new skills lists
Both the old skills lists have been replaced as follows:
- Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) replaced the previous ‘Skilled Occupation List’ (SOL)
- Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) replaced the previous ‘Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List’ (CSOL)
Please visit the government’s website for more information. The following page contains both of the new lists in full listing all eligible skills as well as the ANZSCO code and the assessing authorities:
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
- By completing a Professional Year course specified by the Minister = 5 points
- If your partner meets the basic requirements for a skilled migration visa = 5 points
Having spoken to my MARA agent, I can now clear up the following.
A partner can assist with 5 points if they:
- were under 45 years of age at the time of the application;
- had at least competent English (prescribed passport holder or 6 in all 4 IELTS modules or equivalent test);
- had nominated an occupation on the same skilled occupation list as the main applicant’s nominated occupation (can’t mix and match with the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List ( MLTSSL) and the Short Term Skilled occupation List ( STSOL));
- have been assessed by the assessing authority relevant to their nominated occupation as having suitable skills for that occupation (formal assessment).
How many points do you need?
The current qualifying point score to receive an invitation to lodge an application is
60 65 – As at the 1 July 2018, the government has increased the pool mark (eligibility level) to 65 points (up from 60 points).
If you have lodged an Expression of Interest ( EOI) in any of the points based skilled visas, then you will need a minimum
60 65 points to receive an invitation, but invitations are issued to the highest scoring EOIs so the qualification score may not guarantee success.
This is a statement I have had verified through official channels:
“The current qualifying point score is
60 65. If you are applying for a Skilled Independent visa, then you will need a minimum 60 65 points to do so, but invitations are issued to the highest score.
If you are applying for a Skilled Nominated visa, then you still need
60 65 points but you will be allocated the 5 ‘nomination‘ points by selecting that nominated visa sub-class so you will meet the minimum 65 points upon lodgement of the EOI.
When you apply for the state sponsorship (which must be approved by the state government or territory) you must include your EOI reference. When the state nomination is approved, the nomination points will be confirmed on the system and the invitation will be issued by Department of Home Affairs automatically.
If you are applying for a Skilled Nominated visa or Skilled Regional visa, then you must ensure that the score you will achieve, once the nomination is approved (and the points confirmed) meets at least the qualifying score of
60 65 points. Beware of (usually) age changes which may decrease your points score after lodgement of your EOI as this will mean your score will not meet the qualifying score or you will not be able to support the age points when the application is assessed.
Getting the required number of points does not guarantee you an invitation as it depends upon availability of spaces within the selected ANZSCO occupation quota (ceiling) and also how competitive your score is. Invitations are issued to those with the highest score. Once an invitation has been issued, you will then have 60 days to lodge a visa application based upon your EOI submission (amended where required).”
If you want the full details you can get them directly by visiting homeaffairs.gov.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.
It is important to also understand that there are many visa types, including skill-based visas that are not points-based, but instead are based on employment sponsorship and also partner visas and parent visas. So if you don’t score enough points, there may be other pathways you can go down.
Want to know exactly how many points you have?
Not only exactly how many points you have, but whether you have a realistic chance of lodging a successful visa application or not. I know this process can be very confusing, I know it can be very difficult to work out how many points your qualifications are worth, how many points you might get for your work experience, whether your skill is on one of the skills lists, none of these things are straight forward.
That’s why I have a MARA registered migration agent working with me on this website who can help you, you’ll be surprised at just how much information you will receive through my…
Please DO NOT ask me to calculate your points
Update November 2013
Please read before commenting below:
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.
More useful links…
All About Visas for Australian Migration
Australian Visas and Expression Of Interest (EOI): Caution!
I am now 44 years 4 months. Am I still eligible to apply for skilled independent visa? As I know that I will not get any point due to more than 44 years.
All I can confirm is that under current rules, you will still get the points applicable for your age for being in the age bracket of 40 to 44, but if you wait till you are 45 you will lose them.
Eligibility is something best discussed with a MARA registered migration agent who can look at your specific circumstances.
I have done IT in software development and will have maximum of 75 points by this month.My 485 is expiring next year in sep.
What are my chances of getting an invite with these points?
My brother is Electronics and telecommunication Engr but has work expof 5 years in Cyber security and systems.
Can you please guide under what skilled occupition should he get his degree and exp assesed to get ful benifit of points.
Also, I am an Austrilain citizen and want to give my points to him, so that he can have extra, can he apply under visa sub class 189 or 190 using my relationship points?
I can’t help you with these questions I’m afraid, you would need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent or go through my agent’s Visa Assessment Service.
kindly help me
My son is 3 Years old ( 16 feb 2019) and my question is there which age i can start his study in australia
I have 12yrs of exp, out of that 5yrs is project manager. I have two clarifications:
1. How a person can be project manager while starting his career? In this case I cannot get whole 15points for exp is it?
2. If I am doing partner assessment then how much experience is minimum required to get 5 points? Mine and my husband job listed in same occupation list.
I’m thinking about applying for a PR and would get 75 points, so I assume the chance to get invited might not be too bad. I was only wondering if getting an invitation (assumed that nothing changes between my EOI and the actual visa application) means that I will also get the visa granted or is it still possible that although getting an invitation they might still deny the visa? Since it’s a huge amount of money that you won’t get back if they deny the visa, it would be great to know if it is at least fairly reasonable to assume that the visa gets granted when you get an invitation to apply… cheers!
Plz explain…What is trade qualification…?
Professional courses specified by minister….?
Is PGDCA trade qualification or not?
Kindly answer my queries
Sir Iam working as cook in australia. Will I get points for my BBA (Bachelor of business administration ) degree from Bharathiyar University, India for visa process?
What is formal assessment in partners 5 points criteria
Everything I know about that is detailed underneath the Partners heading in the above article.
Hello sir ..my question is. If my husband is full oz citizen .we are married for two years now will that give me an extra points for immigration.thanks..haze
i am doing masters in public health in Sydney how i can apply for PR in Sydney NSW
I am science graduate . I have work experience of 14 year in Veterinary Medicine Marketing and also I am doing job MNC group in same profession.
My younger brother are also in Australia with PR.
How many point I will get .
And how I will apply the PR file .
Hi Bob, 🙂
I think I can get in on a skilled immigration visa. But my boyfriend has his own online bussiness. Is it a problem for him to get in if he doesn’t get a job there and continues his own bussiness? And would it be easier if we where married?
You may be able to include your boyfriend in on your application depending on your circumstances. Google “Fact Sheet – Australian immigration de facto rules” for more information.
how many points needed in Melbourne for accounting student at masters level??
How many points required for PR in sydney to an accountant field of master degree ?
Dear sir, How many points can i get if i have a blood relations who is residing in Australia with citizenship
How many points Can i get for sponsership
My wife has 3 years of experience and we both fall under same category 261313.and she has studied in the same field. Will I get 5 additional points if I get her ACS done with that experience ? Is there any minimum experience cap for availing the points?
Hi Bob! Just curious, when it comes to educational attainment, how do they treat a MA? Is it possibly given points somewhere in-between a BA’s 15 and a PhD’s 20?
Also, for those extra points for individuals who do work with Australia – does that apply to working with the AU market from abroad? E.g. based in Canada but covering ANZ clients. Appreciate the feedback. Thanks Bob. Cheers!
I have no idea on either question Alex, I leave all the technicalities to MARA registered migration agents, they are the ones who know all the rules.
Hello! Since april 2014 i am working as a network engineer in australia ! But i completed my diploma in april 2015, and i just completed my bachelors of networking in april 2018.
My question is how many point i can claim ! And my degree can be assessed through my work experience? And am i eligible to apply for 489 visa for NSW???
My partners is doing masters of computer science now 1years left to finish the study after this finish what should We do to get Pr and how much points need to do for that.
Hi Bob, I have a query. I have completed my masters from (geelong) which is under regional Australia. However, my stay was in Melbourne. I have received a certificate from uni saying I have completed my course from Geelong. Now, am I elegible to claim the regional 5points?
Hi I was been told by my agent that if you have an experience of 5 yrs, immigration people deduct your first wars and will give you only 5pts for your experience, is it true? Coz I got my skilled assessment for 5yr10months from ACS
I have heard this as well, but I’m not a MARA registered migration agent. If your agent is MARA registered, then I see no reason why you shouldn’t trust him or why he would lie to you.
I’m looking into gathering the points in order to be able to lodge my EOI for the 189 visa.
However, I have a query (which is the cherry on top of the cake).. If the job title is not exactly as that on the list, however job duties match, is it applicable? Or it’s highly likely that I fail the skills test and it will be all waste of money?
Thanks for your help
I’m not a MARA registered migration agent, so I don’t know for sure, but I think (for what it’s worth) that the important thing is your job duties, not the title you’ve been given. I think it is quite normal for job titles to be different from one country to another, but if you have the right skill sets, that’s the main thing.
You might want to check that with a MARA agent, I wouldn’t want you to waste your money.
1.i am telecom engineer whereas my wife is MBBS Doctor so can i claim 5 points on her
(16 year) education if she got ielts score 6666 .
plz tell at how much points are needed to get invitation of 190 visa category of civil engineer technician 312212,
Can we apply for assesment in
one another proffesion, after getting in one
How are you,
Long time reader of your blog and wanted to ask one thing that I am a graphic designer (communication designer) with 5 years of exp.
Am I be eligible for any state sponsorship because I My occupation is not on any list but i have seen somewhere on one of the state occupation website that my profession was listed.
But need your advice in my case if there is any chance for me So i start preparing documents.
I just can’t answer these kinds of questions Khan, please read my two important notices at the bottom of the above article. Good luck though, Bob
I really appreciate to get my head clear on one specific point.
I just had my SKILL ASSESSMENT done by ACS and for my working experience it says:
“The following employment after November 2016 is considered to equate to work at an appropriately skilled level”
The question is when submitting EOI will BIDP count all the work experience towards the points or only the one after Nov. 2016?
Thanking you in advance.
Your experience after Nov 2016 only.
Whatever experience you have before Nov 2016 is not countable
I forgot to mentions that:
1. Will DIPB accept AQF Associate Degree completed in UK? If so how many points will I get for that?
2. Does ACS not take working experience beyond 10 years in to account? My 3 years experience between 2005 and 2008 prior to completing my HND in computing in 2010 is considered as Not Closely Related to the Nominated ANZSCO even though it is. What is the best option for me Review or Appeal?
Hello,m working as a registred nurse in ksa. But m graduated recently.recently . Hav an experience of 8 yrs outside Australia . May l know is this experience is still valid. Can I get points.
Hi there, my partner is under 50years old, meets the english requirements, is on the skilled occupation list, and has a skills assessment for the relevant authorities. So he meets the criteria, but when completing my EOI, I am unable to find how I add the extra points for my partner to raise my points up 5 more. He is my partner, but we are not defacto on eachother. I have searched high and low for this answer and nooone seems to know. Any help would be appreciated!
I’m working in Brisbane since 1st August 2015 and continuing as SAP consultant.
I have Mechanical Engineering degree passed out in July 2003 and since then, I’m working i.e. total 14yr and 6 months experience in IT.
Please advise how much points I will get for Foreign Employment? (will ACS consider 14years to calculate my experience? because I know being from Mechanical Engineering, my degree will fall in ICT Minor and 5 years will be deducted from my total experience(.
IELTS has been passed by me in the following >
listening 8 reading 8 writing 6.5 speaking 7.5 overall 7.5
so how many points i will get in IELTS? for PR
I have now added a further update underneath the English language skills section to make the point scoring even clearer. I’ve also added links to other available English-language tests which you may find preferable.
I am working on a cruise ship,which is Australian based, I use Maritime crew visa for this,
is the experience is calculated as Overseas or Australian?