What is Australia’s points system for immigration?

by IELTS Australasia — February 13th, 2019

When you’re thinking of migrating to Australia as a Permanent Resident (PR), you may come across points-based visas. We’ll explain what this is and how the Australian PR points calculator works.

Australia’s skilled migration system

Permanent migration to Australia is highly regulated. Australia issues around 190,000 permanent visas per year. Most of these are for skilled migration.

These Permanent Residency visas come in two broad categories: Independent Skills Visas and Employer Sponsored visas. We have an easy list of 8 Australian PR visas you need to know about. If you don’t have an employer who can sponsor you for a visa, you can think about an independent skilled visa.

You can’t apply for an independent skilled visa, but you have to lodge an expression of interest through an online system called SkillSelect. This system ranks applicants based a range of personal information. For example, your age, your education and your work experience. You can also claim extra points for English language proficiency.

So, if you are interested, you will need to nominate an occupation that is on the Skilled Occupation List. This list specifies jobs that are in demand in Australia. When you have done this, you can apply online. SkillSelect invites people to apply for permanent skilled visas. The higher you score on points, the more likely you are to be invited. So, how do these points work?

Read more about migrating to Australia

How does the points test work for Australian skilled migration?

When you lodge apply for an independent skills migration visa, you need to meet a minimum pass mark. Each visa will have its own pass minimum points score. For example, you need a minimum of 65 points to be able to submit an expression of interest for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) visa. The Department of Home Affairs has an online Australian PR points calculator.

Points can be claimed for a few different personal factors:

  • age
  • English proficiency
  • employment experience
  • educational qualifications
  • community language qualifications
  • the skills of your partner
  • you can also get extra points if you’re invited to apply for a visa by a state or territory government agency.

Access the points calculator

English language and the points test work for Australian skilled migration

You cannot change your age, and it is also difficult to quickly change your employment experience of educational qualifications. For example, if you have a recognised trade qualification, you get 10 points. You can claim 5 points more if you have a recognised bachelor’s degree. However, it takes years to obtain this qualification. However, you can claim extra points for proficient or superior English. Read our 5 tips to get superior English for your Points Test Visas.

IELTS is recognised for Australian immigration. We also offer a General Training test, which means you don’t have to sit an Academic English test. IELTS is the only English language test that offers this.

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Immigration and the law

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairs website for changes that may apply to you. If you are interested in Australian student visas, work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Australian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent. However, you can also get free advice for student visas.