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Australian Skilled Visa: Work Out Your Points

Once you have verified that your occupation is either on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) or Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL), next step is to calculate your points. As part of the eligibility requirement for the General Skilled Migration (GSM) scheme, you need to score at least 60 points to qualify for 189, 190 or 489 subclass visas. So, how do you go about this?

Points are awarded under different categories. The information provided below shows the points breakdown for each category to help you assess if you are eligible for any of the 3 skilled visas mentioned above. Grab a pen and paper now and let’s calculate!


The GSM scheme is designed to attract would be migrants in their prime age (25-39 years). People in this age group would range from those who have had only few years work experience but building up on their skills to those who have already substantial work experience and are able to contribute the breadth of knowledge they have acquired over time to the industry in which they are a part of. Also, logic tells us that anyone belonging in this group would most likely have at least 25 more years in the labour force. This means Australia will definitely benefit from the skills and economic contributions that these people will impart to the country.

Points Age

25 18 - 24

30 25 - 32

25 33 - 39

15 40 - 44

0 45 - 49

English Language Skills

Australia wants migrants who can easily assimilate in the country, those who could quickly build a new life Down Under. Having at least a competent level of English skills is a good indicator that migrants will be able to thrive in their new home. Hence, migrants who come from non-English speaking countries would have to demonstrate their skills on the English language. Points are given if their skills are above the competent level.

As for those from English speaking countries like the UK, English language skills will definitely not be questioned. However, demonstrating their skills through a formal English test will help them gain more points to pass the GSM points test.

Points English Level

10 Proficient English Level - *IELTS score of 7 or more in each of the four components: reading, listening, writing and speaking

20 Superior English Level – *IELTS score of 8 or more in each of the four components: reading, listening, writing and speaking

*IELTS = International English Language test system

Skilled Work Experience

Since the GSM scheme is all about filling in the skills shortage in Australia, it makes sense to measure a migrant’s amount of work experience for an occupation listed in SOL or CSOL. Obviously, the more experience one has, the more beneficial it will be for Australia. Therefore, more points are given for those who are able to give back the most. Additional points are even allocated for those who have had local work experience.

Points Skilled Work Experience (Overseas)

5 3 but less than 5 years

10 5 but less than 8 years

15 8 or more years

Points Skilled Work Experience (Australia)

5 at least 12 months in the last 10 years

10 at least 36 months in the last 10 years

15 at least 60 months in the last 10 years

20 at least 96 months in the last 10 years

NOTE: Maximum 20 points can be claimed for overseas and Australian work experience combined

Education qualification

Australia warmly welcomes migrants who have attained not just substantial work experience but education qualifications as well. Such qualifications must be equivalent to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and points are awarded according to the qualification level.

Points Qualification

10 Australian Diploma or trade qualification or other qualification recognised by a relevant assessing authority

15 at least a Bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution or equivalent

20 Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or equivalent

Skilled visa types

As previously mentioned, there are three visa types under the GSM scheme and points are given depending on which visa is to be applied for.

Points Skilled Visa Type

0 Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 – live and work in anywhere in Australia

5 Skilled Nominated Visa Subclass 190 – must be nominated by a state or territory government

10 Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 489 – must be nominated by a state or territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member

Other Categories

Points may also be awarded on other categories:

Points Category

5 Trade qualifications, diplomas or degrees from an Australian educational institution plus Australian study requirement met.

5 Studied in regional Australia or in a low population growth metropolitan area at the time of invitation to apply for a visa.

5 Completion of a Professional Year in Australia within four years before the invitation to apply for a visa.

5 Credentialed community language qualification at the time of invitation to apply for a visa. This must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

5 At the time of invitation to apply for a visa, you partner (must be included in your application) meets the following requirements:

- a successful skills assessment outcome for a nominated occupation on the Skilled Occupation List

- Age

- English language skills

The age, English language skills, qualification, work experience and skilled visa types are the most common categories to acquire points from while the rest of the categories could come in very handy in case you are running short of points.

What happens next?

So, how did you score? If you score at least 60 points, well done! Things are looking promising for you.

Now that you have a more definitive idea that you may be able to actually pursue the Australian dream, it is to your best interest to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. There’s no better time to start the visa application process but now.

Be very mindful that the Australian immigration rules constantly change and the SOL and CSOL lists are frequently updated. This means that you may be eligible to migrate to Australia at the present but if you put things off for later you may miss out on the opportunity to live the dream. Also, as time passes by, you get older which means you may gain lesser points on the age category and will end up struggling to meet the passing mark.

In summary, calculating your points to gauge your eligibility to apply for an Australian visa via the GSM scheme is very straight forward. It is what happens next that make things more complicated. The actual visa application process can be daunting considering you need to be oriented with each stage of the process as well as understand the rules that apply in these stages. However, there is a feeling of achievement each time you finish a stage and move on to the next. Some prefer to go through the application on their own, some feel more comfortable to be assisted by a professional. Whatever path you choose, as long as you have the right skills, the required points and with diligence, things can be done. And soon enough, you’ll find yourself starting an amazing new life in the Land Down Under.

We can help

Should you have any concerns or questions about visa application, don’t hesitate to ask. Email us on or visit our website on and request for a call back or complete a free assessment online.

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