Points Calculator for Australian Immigration

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.

Points calculatorThere 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.

Points Calculator

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.

Age

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 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.

Your skill

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

Qualifications

  • 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

Extra 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

Partners:

Having spoken to my MARA agent, I can now clear up the following.

A partner can assist with 5 points if they:

  • were under 50 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.

If you have lodged an Expression of Interest ( EOI) in any of the points based skilled visas, then you will need a minimum 60 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. If you are applying for a Skilled Independent visa, then you will need a minimum 60 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 points but you will be allocated the 5 ‘nomination‘ points by selecting that nominated visa sub-class so you will meet the minimum 60 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 DIBP 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 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 border.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…

Visa Assessment Service.

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!

Important: Please read before commenting…
legal_notice

And for those looking for professional assistance…
vas_notice

Open a bank account in Australia
{ 1244 comments… add one }
  • Abdul Adeel May 17, 2018, 1:41 am | Link

    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???

  • Binita May 10, 2018, 1:22 pm | Link

    Hi
    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.
    Thanks

  • Venkata April 29, 2018, 12:53 pm | Link

    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?

    Thanks

  • Parth April 22, 2018, 1:24 am | Link

    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

    • BobinOz April 23, 2018, 6:24 pm | Link

      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.

  • Marie Claire April 12, 2018, 7:43 pm | Link

    Hi,
    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

    • BobinOz April 13, 2018, 8:52 pm | Link

      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.

  • shahid March 27, 2018, 10:01 pm | Link

    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 .

  • lalit March 22, 2018, 9:06 pm | Link

    Hi Bob
    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
    please reply
    regards

  • Khan March 12, 2018, 8:31 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    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.
    TIA

    • BobinOz March 13, 2018, 6:47 pm | Link

      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

  • Nawrooz Shah March 3, 2018, 12:10 am | Link

    Hi there,

    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.

    • Khan March 12, 2018, 8:34 pm | Link

      Your experience after Nov 2016 only.
      Whatever experience you have before Nov 2016 is not countable

      • Nawrooz Shah March 13, 2018, 12:25 am | Link

        Thanks Khan,

        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?

  • Ancy February 24, 2018, 9:42 pm | Link

    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.
    Thanks

  • Lisa January 31, 2018, 10:54 am | Link

    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!

  • Saurabh January 27, 2018, 2:29 pm | Link

    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(.

    Awaiting response.

  • farooq malik January 19, 2018, 5:13 am | Link

    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

    • BobinOz March 22, 2018, 5:49 pm | Link

      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.

  • Arunkumar January 17, 2018, 3:12 pm | Link

    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?

  • Pardhu January 11, 2018, 12:54 am | Link

    at present situation and high demand for this occupation. you wont get invitation with 60 points. currently invitations are getting only 70 and 75 points

  • ashika January 5, 2018, 11:34 pm | Link

    hi
    how many points will i get under skiiled migration if iam 32 years and 10 months when iam submitting my EOI

    • Regina macatdon January 12, 2018, 10:02 am | Link

      30 points

  • Tina January 5, 2018, 10:59 pm | Link

    Hi All,
    What are the chances of getting EOI invitation with 60 points for 190 visa in NSW for 2613.

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