About this Visa

The Points-tested stream of the Skilled – Independent visa allows highly skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, State or Territory of Australia, or family member to live and work permanently in Australia. If you wish to apply for this visa under the Points-tested stream, you must first obtain a positive skills assessment for your nominated occupation, and then lodge an Expression of Interest. If this is successful, you will be invited to lodge a visa application.

Requirements

The minimum requirements of the Points-tested stream of this visa are that you must:

  • be under 45 years of age
  • nominate an occupation that is included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • have your skills assessed by the appropriate Australian skills assessing authority as suitable for your nominated occupation
  • have competent English i.e.
    • hold a valid passport issued by the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland (and you are a citizen of that country) OR
    • an IELTS test score of at least 6 in EACH test component OR
    • an OET test score of at least B in EACH test component OR
    • a TOEFL iBT test score of at least 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking OR
    • a PTE test score of at least 50 in EACH test component OR
    • a CAE test score of at least 169 in EACH test component
      NOTE: In each case, the test must have been undertaken within the last three years (with the exception of the CAE test, which must be dated on or after 1 January 2015)
  • score at least 65 on the relevant points test (which takes into account your age, English competency, qualifications and work experience, amongst other factors)

Application Process

Anyone who wishes to apply for this visa under the Points-tested stream MUST first be INVITED to lodge an application by the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA). In order to qualify for an invitation to apply for this visa, you must lodge an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI), which sets out how you meet the relevant requirements.

Stage 1: Initial Eligibility Assessment

The first step that we will take is to conduct an initial assessment of your eligibility for this visa. This involves reviewing your qualifications, work experience, English language and other circumstances, to establish whether or not you are likely to meet the relevant requirements.

As part of this initial eligibility assessment, we will consider which MLTSSL occupation(s) you are likely to be able to nominate, and whether or not you are potentially eligible for a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for that occupation.
We will then provide you with informed and comprehensive advice about your ability to meet the minimum standards that the DOHA requires migrants to fulfil in order to qualify for an invitation to apply for this visa.

Note: Our initial assessment of your eligibility does not guarantee that you will (or will not) in fact obtain a positive skills assessment, or be issued an invitation to apply for this visa. In particular, whether or not the DOHA issues you with an invitation will depend upon how your points test score compares to the scores of other potential applicants, and whether or not the DOHA deems your nominated occupation to be required in Australia.

Stage 2: Skills Assessment

Should our initial assessment indicate that you are eligible for a positive skills assessment and EOI, we will prepare your skills assessment application.

For each skilled occupation listed on the MLTSSL, the DOHA has specified an assessing authority that may carry out skills assessments for that occupation. Only a skills assessment conducted by the relevant assessing authority will be accepted by the DOHA in support of an EOI.
We will provide you with a full list of the information and documents required to support your application. When you have provided the necessary details and documents, along with the required assessment fee, we will lodge your application with the applicable skills assessing authority.

Stage 3: Expression of Interest

Once you have received a positive skills assessment from the skills assessing authority, we will prepare and lodge your EOI. Although you do not need to provide supporting documents at this stage, you MUST be able to provide evidence that the information supplied in the EOI is correct at the time that you are invited to apply for the visa.

You will subsequently receive a result and points score from the DOHA, which is used to rank you against other applicants who have lodged EOIs for this visa. Ranking is based partially on whether or not your occupation is a skill that Australia requires at the time your EOI is assessed. If your EOI is successful, you will be invited to lodge a visa application.

Note: The DOHA retains an EOI for 2 years from the date that it is lodged. During this time, your EOI can be updated if any of your circumstances change (e.g. you obtain a new qualification or skills assessment). If your ranking changes during this 2-year period, based on either your changing circumstances or Australia’s changing skill needs, you may be issued with an invitation to apply for the visa at that point in time.

Stage 4: Visa Application

Once the DOHA has invited you to apply for this visa, we will prepare and lodge your visa application within the specified time frame, together with all of the documents that support the information that you provided in your EOI. This includes your skills assessment, English language test results, qualifications, work references and all other required documents.

Should your visa application be approved, you will be granted a permanent visa. You may be either in Australia or overseas when your visa is granted.