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The Points System - A Detailed Explanation

The points system has many quirks, so we have described each section in detail, to help you understand some of the rules and maybe find opportunities that you might not know are available.

Age:

This is the first factor is unfortunately not one that we can influence very much!

Age

 

18-24

25

25-32

30

33-39

25

40-44

15

45-49

0

When you lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI), the system calculates your age and therefore points accordingly.  If you have a significant birthday, the system also recalculates your age so you do not need to change anything on the EOI.  Please note at the moment, the opportunities stop as soon as you turn 50, however if you are 50 or over and your younger partner meets the requirements then it may be possible for them to apply with you as a secondary.  At the time of writing there is no age requirement for partners of applicants.

English language:

This is often the biggest hurdle for many would be migrants and it is safe to say that even native English speakers have challenges achieving maximum points. For this reason it is very important for any would be applicant to study for this exam and make use of the many resources available. You may also want to check out my personal experience with this exam, and you will find that in the resources section along with some information that might assist you in your quest to obtain the highest possible score.

Australian Immigration now accepts results from several different providers; however the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is still the most popular, possibly because the exam is held so often.  Each test has 4 sub tests within it testing reading, writing, speaking and listening. It is important to understand that you must achieve at least the minimum score in each band of the exam.

For example, if you sat the IELTS exam and achieved 7 for reading, 7 for writing, 6.5 for speaking and 7 for listening, then you would be eligible for the points test but as your lowest score was 6.5, you would receive no points.  It is important to note that two elements of each English exam are objective (listening and reading) and two are subjective (writing and speaking). The objective parts of the exam have answers that are either right or wrong so having your results reviewed is not likely to change your scores unless there was an error in the actual marking. However for the subjective bands writing and speaking, it is based somewhat on the opinion of the examiner, so the scores can and sometimes do change.

If you score 0.5 below your desired outcome in the subjective bands of the exam, then you might consider lodging an appeal. This means that someone else will review your results and may revise the score. Appeals are expensive and take a few weeks, so sometimes taking the exam again might be a better option.

The qualifying standard in the first section of the table below offers 0 points. Also note as mentioned above, that the scores achieved must be in each band of the test

 

Test Type

Score achieved (minimum in each band)

No of points

Proficient

 

 

IELTS

6

0

Pearson PTE Academic

50

0

OET*

B

0

TOEFL iBT

L 12, R 13, W21, S 18

0

Cambridge English-Advanced**

169

 

 

 

 

Competent

 

 

IELTS

7

10

Pearson PTE Academic

65

10

OET*

B

10

TOEFL iBT

L 24, R 24,W 217 S 23

10

Cambridge English-Advanced**

185

10

 

 

 

Superior

 

 

IELTS

8

20

Pearson PTE Academic

79

20

OET*

B

20

TOEFL iBT

L 28, R 29, W 30, S 26

20

Cambridge English-Advanced**

200

20

*This test can only be used by people applying for occupations in the Health Care Sector
**Eligible for tests taken after 1st January 2015

Work Experience:

Work Experience and Qualifications are an important part of the points system and the prospective success of your migration application. Please remember that if independent migration is your priority then you will need to have an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).  You may have options for State sponsored migration so don’t give up if you don’t qualify for the independent options.  If you are not sure, just complete the free visa assessment and let us help you find your options.
The maximum score that you can achieve for work experience is 20 points. This maximum score cannot be achieved without at least one year of Australian experience.  Please note that the experience must be relevant to the occupation you have chosen and you must be able to produce good records. This would include statements from employers, taxation records, payslips and any other valid evidence. If you were self-employed then the burden of evidence would be greater and would include many documents from your business, including invoices to and from clients, taxation records, business registration information.  You would need this documentation not only to prove your eligibility for the points, but also during the Skills assessment process discussed in the resources section.

 

Years of Closely related work experience
(undertaken in the last 10 years)

Points

Australian Work Experience

 

One  year

5

Three years

10

Five Years

15

Eight years

20

 

 

Overseas Work Experience

 

Three years

5

Five Years

10

Eight Years

15

 

Qualifications:

Qualifications are an important hurdle in the points test system as it is almost impossible to qualify unless you have some formal qualifications.

Qualification

 

Recognised Diploma or Trade Qualification

10

A least a Bachelor Degree

15

Doctorate

20

 

Australian Study requirement

If you have had the opportunity to study in Australia for a minimum of two years then there is a chance for you to score an extra five points. Studying in Australia also gives you an opportunity to apply for a post study work visa which could be from 18 months to 4 years depending on the qualification studied.  Not only that, it can also provide opportunities to access more occupations than are on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).

Study in a Regional area

If you are going to study in Australia then it worthwhile considering an Educational Institution based in what the Australian Government has designated as a Regional area.  One of the most popular regional areas to study is Adelaide in South Australia. Adelaide is home to some of the best universities in Australia, and so is the perfect choice for many courses of study. It is also one of the cheapest cities to live and has a large international community. For choosing a regional area, you gain an extra five points.

Professional Year

If you studied a course that can be followed by a Professional Year (for example accounting) then that will also qualify you for an extra 5 points.

Credentialed Community Language

If you have excellent English language skills and also an excellent command of your own Language, you may decide to undertake the necessary qualifications to become accredited with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). If you do this, it will give you another five points.

Partner Skills

If you have a partner and he or she qualifies with at least the baseline Age, English and Skills requirement, then you might be eligible for an extra five points under this provision.

Nomination by State or Territory

This is a very useful option, not only because it gives you five extra points, but because it also gives you access to a much bigger occupation list.  There are a few other benefits and these are discussed in more detail in our state sponsored visas section.

Designated Area Sponsorship

This is also a very useful option and if you have a close relative (immediate family) living in a designated area. There is more information about this option in our Chain Migration section. If you qualify under chain migration, it will give you an extra ten points!

Lost count of how many points you have?  Calculate them here!

 


Disclaimer:

Please understand that the advice on this website is general in nature and subject to change without notice.  We try to keep it as accurate as we can, however keeping up with changes in the Migration environment is sometimes very challenging.

This website does not replace personal advice about your specific situation.  You can contact us via the free visa assessment tool and we can then advise you of the options available to you.

 

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Bibber International Pty Ltd      1138a South Road Clovelly Park South Australia 5042  Tel: +61 8 8374 0077    Fax: +61 8 8374 3300