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Basic Requirements and Points Criteria

There are a number of basic requirements that applicants must meet in order to be invited to apply for the SkillSelect program. While this is not a comprehensive list of all eligibility criteria, it does give a good idea of the minimum standards applicants must meet:

  • Age - you must be under 45 years of age at the time of invitation from DHA.
  • English Language - you should have sufficient ability in the English language to work in Australia (at least at competent level). This is measured through the International English Language Testing System. Those who are non-native English speaking applicants must undergo a language test.
  • Nominated Occupation - when you apply you nominate a skilled occupation, which fits your skills and qualifications. Your nominated occupation must be found on one of the Skilled Occupation Lists relevant list.
  • Skills Assessment - before you apply, you must have your skills assessed by the Australian assessing authority designated to assess your nominated occupation. You must have received a positive result.
  • Health Assessment - you must undergo a medical assessment, and show that you are in reasonably good health. This must be conducted by a doctor registered with the Australian Embassy.
  • Character Assessment - you must be of good character, usually this means a criminal record check
  • Points - you must have received the required points for the relevant visa.
  • Debts - Any debts owed to the Australian government must be paid back prior to application.
  • Previous visa - you must not have had a visa canceled or a previous application refused whilst in Australia
  • EOI - an EOI must have been lodged.

If you are unable to meet these basic requirements, then you should NOT continue with a General Skilled Migration application.

Skilled Immigration Points Requirements:

The Skillselect system is points based, with applicants receiving points for criteria ranging from Age to work experience. Applicants must score a minimum of 65 points for their visa to be granted. The following tables give a detailed breakdown of how points are awarded for Skillselect visas.

Criteria along with Point Slabs:

Nominated Occupation

To be eligible to apply under the General Skilled Migration program, applicants must nominate a skilled occupation included on Australia's Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), the Regional Occupation List (ROL) or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) ROL List. The applicant must also have their skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority for their occupation.

Applications for the following visas may require a skills assessment:

  • General Skilled Migration (GMS) visa
  • Employer Sponsored visa
  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa
  • Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)


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

Applicants are scored according to which age group they fall into at the time of submitting their application, with those aged between 25 and 32 gaining the most points. While those aged 45 and over gain nothing.

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 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) 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 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 point award for skilled employment is 20 points.

Skilled Employment in Australia (within last ten years) Points
(1 to 2) Years 5
(3 to 4) Years 10
(5 to 7) Years 15
8+ Years 20
Skilled Employment outside Australia (within last ten years) Points
(3 to 4) Years 5
(5 to 7) 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 recognised 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.

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.

Community language skills

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

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 point’s 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.

Professional Year

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

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

Applicants must score a minimum of 65 points to apply for 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.