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Points system for PR in Australia

The Australian Government uses the point system to determine the eligibility of the applicant to the visa subclass 885, the Skilled Independent (subclass 887) visa. The applicant must score a minimum number of points to be eligible for the visa; the higher the number of points an individual scores, the more likely the visa is to be approved. Points are determined based on the applicant’s age, the education level of the applicant, the work experience of the applicant, and the English proficiency demonstrated by the individual.

Australia PR age points

Applicants are scored according to which age group they fall into at the time of their application.

Age Points
18-24 25
25-32 30
33-39 25
40-44 15
45-49 0


English language proficiency

Most Skill select applicants are required to take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.
Those from native English speaking countries and applicants who have been awarded a tertiary degree (equivalent to an Australian Bachelor’s degree or higher qualification) from a University where English is the main language do not need to take an English language proficiency test.
However, in order to claim points for Superior or Proficient English language skills all applicants must take the IELTS test.

English language proficiency (IELTS score)
Superior (IELTS score of 8 or more) 20
Proficient (IELTS score of 7 or more) 10
Competent (IELTS score of 6 or more) 0

Skilled employment

Applicants are awarded points for employment experience in a skilled occupation, either in Australia or another country. Experience must be in a nominated occupation on one of Australia’s above-mentioned lists or an occupation that is closely related to earn points for skilled employment, and must have been gained within the last ten years.

Points are awarded separately for skilled employment experience gained within Australia and elsewhere. Points from both tables can be combined, but the maximum total points award for skilled employment is 20 points.

Length of skilled employment WITHIN Australia (within last ten years) Points
1 year 5
3 years 10
5 years 15
8 years 20


Length of skilled employment OUTSIDE of Australia (within last ten years) Points
3 years 5
5 years 10
8 years 15


Educational qualifications

Points are awarded for the applicant’s highest qualification only. For example, if the applicant has both a doctorate and a Bachelor’s degree points will only be awarded for the doctorate. In order to be awarded points any qualifications must be related to the applicant’s nominated occupation, and must be recognized as comparable to Australian qualifications; This will usually be verified during the skills assessment for the applicant’s nominated occupation.


Qualification Points
Doctorate 20
Bachelor’s or Master’s degree 15
Australian Diploma or trade qualification 10
Award or qualification recognised by the assessing authority in assessment of the skilled occupation 10


Australian qualifications

Applicants are awarded 5 points if they completed an Australian qualification from an Australian educational institution. The qualification must have been earned from an Australian institution while they were in Australia. The course of study must have been at least two years in length.

Australian qualifications Points
Any degree, diploma, or trade qualification earned in Australia after at least 2 years of study 5


Regional study

Applicants are awarded another 5 points if they meet the two-year study requirement listed above while living and studying in a “regional Australia/low population growth metropolitan area” in Australia.

Language skills Points
NAATI recognized translator/interpreter level skills in a community language 5


Spouse/partner skills and qualifications

If the applicant’s spouse/partner is included on the visa application, and is not an Australian resident/citizen, their skills can count towards the points total. In order to gain points the spouse/partner must meet the Australian General Skilled Migration basic requirements (listed above) for age, English language proficiency, and nominated occupation.


Spouse/partner skills and qualifications Points
Spouse/partner meets basic requirements 5


How to maximize your points in the PR process ?

There are several strategies to improve your total points score for 189, 190, and 491 Visas that must be taken into consideration before submitting your EOI, therefore pre-planning is crucial when moving to Australia. Here are three methods to increase the overall amount of points on your skilled immigration application.

1. Credentialed Community Language Test – Five Points

The Credentialed Community Language Test (“CCL Test”) implemented by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (“NAATI”) provides five extra points for skilled migration in recognition of its successful completion. Two recorded dialogues based on a conversation between an English speaker and a speaker.

You will be judged on your capacity to carry the message and meaning of what each speaker discussed, with a maximum of five seconds’ delay between segments. You must demonstrate accurate comprehension in both English and LOTE.

Five additional points were awarded upon completion of this test.

2. Regional Study – Five Points

You may earn an extra five points by going to school in a Designated Regional Area (“DRA”) of Australia. Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Wollongong, Newcastle, Canberra, Hobart, Lake Macquarie, Geelong, and Illawarra are examples of regional areas. You must have

 To be eligible, you must have a DRA certificate and a bachelor’s degree in a field of study that is related to your professional experience. The program must be studied full-time for at least 16 months, and the qualification must be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institution and Courses for Overseas Students (“CRICOS”

3. Partner Skills – Maximum 10 Points 

Applicants who are migrating with a de facto spouse or partner can score an extra five points if the migrating partner meets specific age, educational, occupational, and English language requirements. You must fulfill the following conditions to receive the full 10 points:

  • be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation to apply;
  • hold a suitable skills assessment from the relevant skills assessing authority for their nominated occupation;
  • provide evidence of at least competent English demonstrated through either an IELTS, PTE, TOEFL, OET, or Cambridge test or a valid passport from an eligible country; and
  • hold an eligible occupation.

 The applicant’s spouse must have a job on the Regional Occupation List (“ROL”), Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (“STSOL”), or Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List.
For the subclass 491 (State Sponsored) visa, the primary applicant’s partner can work in any of the above three categories. The subclass 190 allows for employment on either the STSOL or MLTSSL, while the classes 189 (Independent) and 491 (Family Sponsored) visas demand that the primary applicant’s partner work on an

If you are married, single, or your spouse is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you may earn a maximum of 10 points.