Bibber International




WISA Chairman's Award Winner 2012

The SkillSelect System

The SkillSelect system and the points process

On this page you will learn about:

  • The SkillSelect System
  • The points test
  • The mechanics of lodging an Expression of Interest (EOI)

Everyone who would like to permanently migrate to Australia without a sponsor (eg an employer, partner or child) must apply through the SkillSelect system. This requires lodging an expression of interest via the SkillSelect system and waiting for the Australian Government to invite you to apply for a visa. The subclass 189 is an independent visa while the 190 is sponsored by a State of Territory. Both visas have similar processes and minimum requirements that need to be met.

The minimum points score to lodge an application is 60 points

Summary of points:















Australian or overseas skilled employment in nominated occupation or a closely related occupation undertaken in the past 10 years
Note: Maximum points that can be awarded for any combination of Australian or overseas skilled employment is 20 points

One year in Australia


Three years in Australia


Five years in Australia


Eight years in Australia


Three years overseas


Five years overseas


Eight years overseas


Qualifications (Australian or recognised overseas)

Australian Diploma or trade qualification or other qualification recognised by a relevant Assessing Authority


At least a Bachelor degree




Australian study requirement

Minimum two years full-time (Australian study requirement)


Study in a regional area

Must meet the Australian Study Requirement while studying in a regional area


Professional Year

Completion of a recognised Professional Year


Credentialed Community language

NAATI accreditation


Partner skills

Primary applicants partner meets threshold requirements for skilled migration visa


Nomination by state/territory government (subclass 190)

Nomination by a state or territory government under a state migration plan


Designated area sponsorship or nominated by state/territory government (subclass 489)

Sponsorship by an eligible relative living in a designated area or nomination by a state or territory government under a state migration plan


Confused? Let’s take an example:

Let’s say… you are 31 years old, achieved 7 in each band for the IELTS, have a Diploma (recognised in Australia) and have 5 years experience in your home country.

So if we calculate your points:

Age    30 points
English   10 points
Work Experience   10 points
Degree Qualification   10 points

= you got 60 points! Congratulations, you can lodge an expression of interest!

Important notice:

Before you lodge your expression of interest, please make sure that you have had your skills assessed and that you have the results of your English exam.
This is so important because if you guess or pre-empt your results, and you get it wrong, there can be disastrous consequences, including being barred from making or obtaining any Australian visa for a period.  Any mistakes on the SkillSelect system could be viewed as attempts at fraud, so please make sure that all your details are in order before you lodge.

There are several other things that you need to know.

First, lodging an expression of interest does not guarantee that you will be offered a visa to migrate to Australia.

Second the Australian Government can use the points to filter the applicants.

Let me give you another example:

Let's say 500 plumbers lodged an expression of interest.  The Australian government decides that Australia needs 300 plumbers. How do they decide which applicants to invite?  By using the points scored.  In this situation, it is unlikely that an applicant with only the baseline of 60 would receive an invitation, however someone with a higher score, say 65 or 70 would have increased chances.

So the first take home message is while 60 is the baseline, the more points you can score, the better your chances.

Also, there are special lists of skilled occupations that will allow you to lodge an expression of interest. As the name suggests the occupations are skilled, so if you have a labouring job or no measurable qualifications then you will not be able to lodge an expression of interest.

Please note that this expression of interest is not a visa, so affords no bridging rights if you are in Australia and your current visa expires. You would need to apply for another substantive visa to stay in Australia.

Finally, the Expression of interest last two years, so if you are not invited during that time, it will expire.  You can of course lodge another one and you can also update your expression of interest at any time to update your points if you have managed to increase your Language or education skills or gained more experience. Please note that it calculates birthday points automatically, so if you reach an age where you get more (or less) points, then there is no need to update your EOI.

Finally Lodging an Expression of interest is free!

If you would like more information about your specific situation, please contact us via the free visa assessment tool and we will be able to answer your questions.




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.

Permanent Migration


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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