How Does The Points Test Work? | The Migration Place

The Points Test: You need 65 points to be eligible

If you believe that you have 65 points, then please contact us to confirm.

We should lodge your visa application ASAP (before the points test changes yet again – it changes every 1-3 years).

If you do not believe you have the required 65 points, then contact us so that we can check, and suggest other visa solutions.

Generally skilled visas are taking up to two years to be processed.

However The Migration Place can advise you on visa options (eg the State sponsored skilled visa) where decisions are being made within 3 months of lodgement.


Skills Assessment (Compulsory):

To be eligible for any kind of visa under the General Skilled Migration (“GSM”) program you must provide a positive skills assessment.

This needs to be completed by the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation.

You must obtain a positive skills assessment before you lodge your visa application.

In most cases, assessing bodies will require that you have post-secondary qualifications in order to receive a positive skills assessment (i.e. University Degree or trade qualification).

In a small number of occupations, substantial relevant work experience may be accepted instead of formal qualifications.

English Requirements (compulsory): 0 to 20 points

Points Description of English Language ability
20 Superior English (a score of at least 8 in each of the four components of the English exam.
10 Proficient English (a score of at least 7 in each of the four components)
0 Competent English  (a score of at least 6 in each of the four components).Citizens of the UK, Canada, New Zealand, US and Ireland automatically meet the competent English requirements

Applicants from Citizens of the UK, Canada, New Zealand, US and Ireland will only need to sit the test if they need 10 or 20 points.

Everyone else must sit an English test within two years of lodging the visa applications. The test is conducted by IELTS and other language testing bodies.

Everyone must meet a minimum score of 6 in each band to be eligible to apply under the general skilled migration program (you will not receive any points for scoring a 6).

Whilst the English requirement is a “time of application requirement”, you can still lodge the application provided you have sat the test and just need the results to be released.

English points cannot be upgraded – so if you resit the exam after the application is made they you cannot then re-submit the English results to get more points.


Employment (Compulsory): 5 to 20 points

Employment requirements relates to the last 10 years prior to the application being made, and must be in the nominated skill, or a closely related skill.

You must provide evidence of paid worked experience in your nominated occupation for at least 12 months in the 24 months immediately before applying to be eligible under the GSM program.

You can combine points from Australian and Overseas experience – the maximum amount of points that can be awarded is 20.

To count as experience you must be paid for at least 20hrs/week.

If you cannot get work references from your employers (eg they no longer exist), then you will need to get statements from co-employees at the time, bank payment records, payslips etc.

We help our clients put this evidence together, and by helping draft employer reference letters and statutory declarations.

    Australian Employment                                            Overseas Employment

Points Years
20 8 out of the last 10 yrs
15 5 out of the last 10 yrs
10 3 out of the last 10 yrs
5 1 out of the last 10yrs
Points Years
15 8 out of the last 10 yrs
10 5 out of the last 10 yrs
5 3 out of the last 10 yrs


Educational Qualifications (Bonus): 10 to 20 points

You can still claim points for a doctorate, bachelor degree/masters or an Australian diploma even if they are not associated with your nominated occupation.

Points can only be awarded for the highest qualification.

Your skill must be assessed by an approved assessing authority – seek advice from your migration lawyer regarding which authority is quickest and easiest.

Professionals with prior learning (eg senior managers promoted without qualifications) will need help to get points from their employment history.

Points Qualification
20 Doctorate – Australian or Overseas
15 Bachelor degree (at least, most likely includes masters) – Australian or Overseas
10 Australian Diploma
10 Attained a qualification or award recognised by the relevant assessing authority


Points for Australian Study (Bonus): 5 points

You need:

  1. an Australian qualification gained while in Australia from a course registered with CRICOS.
  2. completed in 2 years (92 weeks).
  3. in a study must be closely related to the applicant’s nominated occupation
Points Study
5 Study in an Australian regional area
5 Completion of a professional year within the last 4 years
5 Credentialed Community Language (assessed by NAATI as either a translator or interpreter)*


Points for skilled partner (Bonus): 5 points

Your partner must:

  1. Be less than 50 years of age.
  2. possess competent English.
  3. Have an assessed  skill on the SOL.
  4. Have been employed in a skilled occupation for at least 12 of the 24 months before the application is lodged (or completed the Australian Study requirement)


State or Territory nomination and designated area sponsorship (Bonus): 5 to 10 points

Certain visas under the GSM program allow you to be sponsored by certain states or territories (depending on your nominated occupation).

You must make an application for sponsorship to your State or Territory before making your general skilled visa application.

Points can be claimed for state or territory sponsorship and your visa application will generally be given priority when being processed.

Points can also be claimed if you are sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area.

Eligible family members can sponsor applicants on a subclass 176 or 886 however no points will be awarded.

Points Description of Sponsorship
5 Nomination by a state/territory under a state migration plan, for the purposes of a subclass 176 or 886
10 Nomination by a state/territory government under a state migration plan.Sponsored by an eligible relative, to a designated area for a subclass 487 or 457 skilled – regional sponsored application