General skilled migration to Australia

Introduction

If you apply to migrate to Australia under the Skilled Australian Sponsored category or the Skilled Independent category, you will be assessed against a points test.

Points are awarded for skill, age, English language ability, specific work experience, occupation in demand (and job offer), Australian qualifications, regional Australia, spouse skills and relationship (for Skilled Australian sponsored only).

Bonus points can be awarded for one only of the following:

  • capital investment in Australia;
  • Australian skilled work experience; or
  • fluency in one of Australia’s major community languages, other than English.

Pass mark and pool mark

You must score sufficient points to reach the pass mark. If your score below the pass mark but equal to or above the pool mark, your application will be held in reserve (in the pool) for up to 2 years after assessment.

If the pass mark is lowered at any time in that 2 year period, and your score is equal to or higher than the new pass mark, your application will be processed further. If not, your application would be refused at the end of the 2 year period.
See also: Changes to the passmark for general skilled migration

The current pass marks and pool marks are:

Category Current Pass Mark Current Pool Mark
Skilled Independent 120 70
Skilled Independent Regional (Provisional) 110 110
Skilled Australian sponsored 110 105
Skilled Independent Overseas Student 115 115
Skilled Australian sponsored Overseas Student 110 110
Skilled Onshore Independent New Zealand citizen 120 120
Skilled Onshore Australian sponsored New Zealand citizen 110 110

Changes to the passmark for general skilled migration

From 1 April 2005, the pass mark for applications for Skilled Independent Overseas Student (subclass 880) visas will be 120.
If your application for subclass 880 is received on or after 1/4/05 you will have to meet the 120 point requirement to be granted the visa.

Estimating your points score

Points for skill

The occupation you nominate must be on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL), current at the time of application, and should be one which fits your skills and qualifications.

You receive the points allocated for your nominated occupation after the relevant assessment authority for your nominated skilled occupation determines that your skills are suitable.

Skill

Points

For most occupations where training is specific to the occupation

60

For more general professional occupations

50

For other general skilled occupations

40

Points for age

Points are allocated for your age at the time of application.

Age

Points

18 to 29 years

30

30 to 34 years

25

35 to 39 years

20

40 to 44 years

15

Points for English language ability

English language ability

Points

Competent English – a generally effective command of the language, and the ability to use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

20

Vocational English – a reasonable command of the English language, coping with overall meaning in most situations and the ability to communicate effectively in nominated field of employment.

15

Points for specific work experience

Work Experience

Points

If your nominated occupation is worth 60 points under Skill, and you have worked in your nominated occupation, or a closely related occupation, for at least 3 of the 4 years immediately before you apply

10

If your nominated occupation is worth 40, 50 or 60 points under Skill, and you have worked in any occupation on the Skilled Occupations List for at least 3 or the 4 years immediately before you apply

5

Points for occupation in demand/job offer

A number of occupations/specialisations have been identified as being in demand in Australia. They are listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL).

You may receive points if your nominated occupation is on the MODL that is current at the time your application is assessed.

For occupation in demand, with job offer

20

For occupation in demand, but no job offer

15

Points for Australian qualifications

Applicants with Australian qualifications have a greater chance of employment in Australia.

Points may be awarded for only one of the following Australian qualifications completed whilst present in Australia and where all the instruction was in English:

 Qualification

Points

You have completed an Australian doctorate at an Australian educational institution after a period of at least 2 years full time (2 academic years) while in Australia

15

You have completed an Australian Masters or Honours degree (at least upper second class level) at an Australian educational institution while in Australia, and prior to completing the Masters or Honours degree, you were awarded an Australian bachelor degree as a result of at least 1 year full time study while in Australia.

The total period of full time study in Australia was at least 2 years (2 academic years)

10

You have completed full time study in Australia for a total of at least 2 years (2 academic years) towards the award of a degree, diploma or trade qualification

5

Points for regional Australia/low population growth metropolitan areas

Applicants who can claim points for Australian qualifications may also be eligible to claim points for having lived and studied for at least 2 years in regional Australia or low population growth metropolitan areas.

Having lived and studied for at least 2 years in one or more areas in regional Australia or low population growth metropolitan areas

5 points

“Regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area” means anywhere in Australia except Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, the NSW Central Coast, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne or the ACT.

See:

  • Regional Australia (for list of postcodes of areas gazetted as regional Australia or low-population growth metropolitan areas);
  • Campuses (for list of campuses gazetted as being in regional Australia or low-population growth metropolitan areas).

Points for spouse skills

Points may be awarded if your spouse if they are also able to satisfy the basic requirements of age, English language ability, qualifications, nominated occupation and recent work experience and has obtained a suitable skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for their nominated occupation.

 Spouse skills

5 points

Bonus points

Points may be awarded for one only of the following:

Capital investment in Australia (a minimum of A$100,000); or

Australian work experience (an applicant must have legally worked in Australia in any occupation on the Skilled Occupations List for at least 6 months in the 4 years before lodging an application); or

Fluency in one of Australia’s community languages (other than English)(see Booklet 6 for details)

5 points

Points for relationship (for applicants for the Skilled–Australian sponsored category only)

Points for relationship may be awarded if an applicant or their spouse has a relative who is an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen, and who is willing to sponsor them.

The applicant or their spouse must be related to the sponsor as either a non-dependent child, a parent, a brother or sister, or a niece or nephew.

 Relationship

15 points