Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189): What are points and how many do you need?

To obtain a Skilled independent visa (subclass 189), you must meet a number of criteria:

  • A relevant occupation
  • Appropriate skills assessment
  • Have Component English
  • Be invited to apply
  • Be under 45 years old upon invitation

Another mandatory element is meeting the points pass mark of 65, which we will delve into further below.

There are eight categories in the points table, each of which contains one or more criteria that are worth anywhere between zero and 30 points. These categories include age, English, skilled employment in the last 10 years (outside Australia), skilled employment in the last 10 years (in Australia), qualifications, Australian study requirements, and specialist education qualifications.

The age bracket of 25-32 is the premium slot for points (30), while people between 18-24 or 33-39 will receive 25 and those in the 40-44 range get 15 points. There are no points awarded for Component English but this is a different story for those with Proficient English (10 points) or Superior English (20).

Less than three years of skilled employment outside of Australia in the last decade won’t register but an eight to 10-year stint is worth 15 points. For the same type of work in Australia, eight to 10 years will net you 20 points, while anything under 12 months won’t yield any fruit. 

In terms of qualifications, a doctorate from an Australian or other recognised institution equals 20 points and a bachelor under the same conditions 15 points, while diplomas, trades and awards are worth 10 points.

Some form of Australian educational qualification is a five-pointer, as is a masters research or doctorate degree (with two academic years), and there are several criteria that fall under the Other section, all worth five points.

You can check out a full version of the points table here.

Useful Links:

English Language Tests – Which one is right for you?

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