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Professional and Skilled Workers Australia:

The Skillselect system is based on points, with applicants receiving points from age to work experience for criteria. Applicants must score a minimum of 60 points to obtain their visa. The following tables give a detailed breakdown of how points are awarded for Skillselect visas.


  • Nominated occupation
  • Age
  • English language proficiency
  • Skilled employment
  • Educational qualifications
  • Australian qualifications
  • Regional study
  • Community language skills
  • Spouse/partner skills and qualifications
  • Professional year
  • Nominations and sponsorship (Subclasses 190 and 489 only)

Nominated Occupation

Applicants had been awarded points for a specific designated occupation prior to 1 July 2011. That is not the case anymore. However, in order to be eligible under the General Skilled Migration programme, applicants must still nominate a skilled worker on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List OR the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) depending on their type of visa; and must also have their skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority for their occupation.

  • Graduate Temporary (Subclass 485) Visa (Graduate work stream only)
  • Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189)
  • Skilled Regional (Subclass 887) Visa
  • Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190) Visa
  • Skilled – Nominated or Sponsored Provisional (Subclass 489) Visa
  • Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)


Applicants are scored according to the age range they fall under at the time of their registration, with those aged between 25 and 32 earning the most points. Those aged 45 years and older do not gain any.

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

English language proficiency

Most Skillselect applicants are required to take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.

Those from native English speaking countries and candidates who have been awarded a tertiary degree (equivalent to an Australian Bachelor’s or higher qualification) from a university where English is the primary language do not need to take an English language proficiency exam.

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) Points
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 work experience points in a professional profession, either in Australia or elsewhere. Experience must be in a designated profession on Australia ‘s Professional Occupations List or a profession directly linked to winning points for eligible jobs, and must have been obtained over the last ten years.

Points are awarded separately for the skilled work experience gained inside and outside Australia. It is possible to combine points from both tables but the maximum total points award for skilled work 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 shall only be awarded for the highest qualification of the applicant. For example, if the applicant has both a doctorate and a Bachelor’s degree points, only the doctoral degree will be awarded. All qualifications must be related to the nominated occupation of the applicant and must be recognized as comparable to Australian qualifications in order to be awarded points; This will usually be verified during the skills assessment for the applicant’s nominated occupation.

Qualification Points

Bachelor’s or Master’s degree



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 have completed an Australian education institution’s qualification. The certification must have bean won when they were in Australia by an Australian institution. 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 given another 5 points if they fulfill the above two-year research criteria while living and working in Australia’s “regional Australia / low population growth metropolitan area.”

Regional study qualifications Points
Any degree, diploma, or trade qualification earned in Australia after at least 2 years of study in a regional Australia/low population growth metropolitan area 5

Community language skills

Applicants can earn 5 points if they have the language skills of a translator / interpreter level in one of the community languages designated by Australia. These skills must be recognised by the National Translators and Interpreters Accreditation Authority (NAATI) of Australia.

Language skills Points
NAATI recognised translator/interpretor level skills in a community language 5

Spouse/partner skills and qualifications

If the spouse / partner of the applicant is included in the application for a visa and is not an Australian resident / citizen, their skills that count against the total points. The spose / partner must meet the basic criteria of Australian General Professional Migration (listed above) for age, English language proficiency and designated profession in order to earn points.

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

Professional year

Applicants also score 5 points if they have completed the last 4 years of an approved Professional Year in Australia. A Professional Year is a structured professional development program which combines formal training with on-the-job experience. The professional year must have been an occupation nominated for them or a closely related occupation.

Professional year Points
Completed a professional year in Australia in the last 4 years 5

Nomination and sponsorship (Subclass 190 and Subclass 489 only)

Applicants for Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) and Skilled Nominated or Sponsored visa (Provisional) (Subclass 489) are awarded points for being sponsored by an Australian state or Territory government.

Sponsorship or nomination Points
Nomination by a State or Territory government under a State Migration Plan for a Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) application 5


Nomination by a State or Territory government under a State Migration Plan, or an eligible relative, to a designated area for a Skilled Nominated or Sponsored visa (Provisional) (Subclass 489) application 10

Pass mark

Applicants must score a minimum of 60 points to gain a visa under the General Skilled Migration program. Try our free online Australian general Skilled Migration points test to see if you score enough points for your visa.

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