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Point table for Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

Overview

Points criteria are assessed at the time of invitation.
 

Point table for Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

AgePoints
at least 18 but less than 25 years25
at least  25 but less than 33 years30
at least  33 but less than 40 years25
at least  40 but less than 45 years15

 

EnglishPoints
Competent English0
Proficient English10
Superior English20

English language skills

Overseas skilled employment – (outside Australia)

Number of yearsPoints
Less than 3 years0
At least 3 but less than 5 years5
At least 5 but less than 8 years10
At least 8 years15

Australian skilled employment – (in Australia)

 
Number of yearsPoints
Less than 1 year0
At least 1 but less than 3 years5
At least 3 but less than 5 years10
At least 5 but less than 8 years15
At least 8 years20
  • You can only claim points for employment if the employment was in your nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation; and you were employed for the relevant periods set out in the table, in the 10 years before you are invited to apply. 
  • For any Australian employment you held a substantive visa or a Bridging A or Bridging B visa and complied with the conditions of that visa 

Employed means engaged in an occupation for remuneration for at least 20 hours a week.

Closely-related occupations must be:

  • in the same ANZSCO Unit Group or
  • consistent with a career advancement pathway or
  • recognised by an assessing authority that it is closely related to your nominated occupation, as part of your skills assessment

Under the points test there is a cap on the number of points that can be awarded for employment experience. The maximum number of points that can be awarded is 20, this means that even if you score more than 20 combined points for your employment experience only 20 points will be awarded.

RequirementPoints
A Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or a Doctorate from another educational institution, that is of a recognised standard.20
At least a Bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution or at least a Bachelor qualification, from another educational institution, that is of a recognised standard.15
A diploma or trade qualification from an Australian educational institution.10
Attained a qualification or award recognised by the relevant assessing authority for your nominated skilled occupation as being suitable for that occupation10

For points based migration you will receive points for your highest qualification only. 

Recognition of your qualifications

The authority undertaking your skills assessment may determine if your qualifications are comparable to the relevant Australian qualification. Assessing authorities are listed against your occupation in the relevant list of list of eligible skilled occupations. You must have obtained this recognition at the time you are invited to apply for a visa.

If you hold an overseas qualification at bachelor level or above and your skills assessing authority did not offer an opinion on that qualification then it is open to you to contact Vocational Education Training and Assessment Services (VETASSESS) for advice.

VETASSESS can provide an assessment of the comparative educational level of these qualifications against the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Advice from VETASSESS should be provided with your application to support your claim for these points.

To obtain an assessment contact Vocational Education Training and Assessment Services.

Doctoral requirements (PhD)

You can only be awarded points for a doctoral degree if you have completed a qualification at the relevant level, that is, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). You cannot claim these points for the award of other qualifications that give you the right to use to the title of Doctor (that is, general practitioner, dentist, vet.

RequirementPoints
A Masters degree by research or a Doctorate degree from an Australian educational institution that included at least 2 academic years to in a relevant field.5

The postgraduate degree by research (doctorate or masters) must be awarded from an Australian education institution after at least two academic years of study in the following science, technology, engineering, mathematics or specified information and communication technology (ICT) fields:

Natural and physical sciences

  • biological sciences
  • chemical sciences
  • earth sciences
  • mathematical sciences
  • natural and physical sciences
  • other natural and physical sciences
  • physics and astronomy

Information technology

  • computer science
  • information systems
  • information technology
  • other information technology

Engineering and related technologies

  • aerospace engineering and technology
  • civil engineering
  • electrical and electronic engineering and technology
  • engineering and related technologies
  • geomatics engineering
  • manufacturing engineering and technology
  • maritime engineering and technology
  • mechanical and industrial engineering and technology
  • other engineering and related technologies
  • process and resources engineering.

To determine whether your qualification is eligible, see the CRICOS website.

RequirementPoints
Meet the Australian study requirement5

You must have at least 1 degree, diploma or trade qualification from an Australian educational institution that meets the Australian study requirement.

Australian Study Requirement

When applying for the the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) Points-tested, the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) Invited pathway, to meet the Australian study requirement you must have completed either:

  • a single eligible qualification that requires at least 2 academic years study, or
  • more than 1 qualification that results in a total of at least 2 academic years study resulting in an eligible qualification

You must have completed your study in Australia, in a total of no less than 16 calendar months, while you held a visa authorising you to study.

Your course, or courses, resulting in the award of an eligible degree, diploma or trade qualification, must be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and instruction must be completed in English.

Note: if applying for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), you must have completed your study in the 6 months immediately before making an application.

Course requirements

Each qualification you have completed and are relying on to meet this requirement must:

  • be either a bachelors degree or higher, a diploma, an advanced diploma, or a trade qualification
  • have been undertaken at an Australian educational institution in Australia
  • have been taught in English
  • be registered on CRICOS
  • have been undertaken while you held a visa authorising you to study

Note: You cannot use English language proficiency courses or enabling programs to meet the Australian study requirement.

The 2 academic years study requirement

Two academic years of study equals 92 weeks that contribute towards 1 or more acceptable qualification. 

What is meant by 2 academic years study

Two academic years study, or 92 weeks of registered study, is based on the duration of the course as registered by CRICOS.

You can take longer to complete your course, but you will only be credited with the number of weeks that CRICOS determines as the standard duration. For example, if you take 92 weeks to successfully complete a course that CRICOS says should take 78 weeks, you will only receive credit for 78 weeks only.

Only study successfully completed count towards the 2 academic years. You cannot include failed subjects.

Credits and exemptions

Credit for prior learning may reduce the amount of study undertaken.

Example: If your course is CRICOS-registered for 138 weeks (3 years) and has 24 equal weighted units, you will have completed 2 academic years when you have successfully completed 16 units of that course. This means you can use study credits of up to 8 units and still complete 2 academic years of study.

You cannot count the credited units towards meeting the Australian study requirement if:

  • you are already using them towards meeting the Australian study requirement as part of another course
  • you received the credit for study within Australian in a non-CRICOS registered course
  • you received the credit for study completed overseas

Credit for study of non-award courses or study completed overseas can only be used to the extent it is accepted by your education provider as part of ‘recognised prior learning’ (RPL) and cannot be used to meet the Australian study requirement directly.

Note: Your academic transcript should show how credits from prior learning contribute to your qualification for these credits to be counted towards meeting the Australian study requirement. This leaves no doubt that the credits are part of the award of the qualification.

Minimum of 16 months study in Australia

The Australian study requirement cannot be met in less than 16 calendar months.

This period begins when the course commences (generally from the start of lectures and excluding orientation periods) to the date at when all academic requirements have been completed

Example: If your course is CRICOS registered for 92 weeks (2 years) and you received credit based on study in another course also registered with CRICOS, then you could use these credits towards meeting the Australian study requirement even if you did not receive a qualification for this other course. The actual period of study on which the credits were based may also be used to meet the 16 month requirement. 

However, if your study credits shorten the amount of time you physically studied your course in Australia to less than 16 calendar months, then, you may not meet the Australian study requirement.

If this happens you have several options, including:

  • have the university cancel the credits and complete these subjects for your qualification
  • complete extra units, such as elective units, that the university accepts as award units for the qualification

You may wish to complete an extra eligible qualification that can be used together to meet the Australian study requirement. Your extra qualification must be of sufficient CRICOS-registered duration to make up for the credited units from your course (or courses), bringing the total to at least 92 weeks.

Overlap of qualifications

You can undertake overlapping qualifications. For example, students applying under the Graduate Work stream of the subclass 485 visa could complete a Diploma in Finance and then a Diploma in Accounting where 2 units in the last qualification were granted as credit from the earlier qualification.

Where qualifications overlap, you can’t count the period of study more than once.

If you complete more than one qualification but use only the most recent qualification to meet the Australian study requirement, any credit you receive in the most recent qualification from the previous qualification counts towards meeting the Australian study requirement.

The actual period of study within the previous qualification can also be used to meet the 16-month requirement.

Study outside Australia

You can still meet the Australian study requirement if your course included study overseas, provided you complete at least 2 academic years of study in no less than 16 months in Australia in a CRICOS registered  course.

Example: You would have completed 2 academic years study in Australia if you undertook a 3-year, 6-semester bachelor degree as follows:

  • semester 1 – outside Australia
  • semester 2 – in Australia
  • semester 3 – in Australia
  • semester 4 – in Australia
  • semester 5 – outside Australia
  • semester 6 – in Australia

The pattern of study does not matter as long as the Australian study requirement is met.

You must complete at least 16 months of study while you are physically present in Australia.

You will not have met the Australian study requirements if you:

  • have studied solely at an overseas campus of an Australian educational institution, or
  • studied online or by correspondence with an Australian educational institution while outside Australia.

Evidence to attach to your application

Provide a certified copy of the completion letter from your education provider that shows:

  • the date the course started and ended
  • whether you did any distance learning
  • certified copies of course transcripts
  • the date of course completion
  • the location of the campus where you studied
  • whether you studied full-time or part-time
  • the language in which you received instruction

If you received credit for a course that you intend to use, to show that you have met the conditions of the Australian study requirement, the completion letter must state as such.

Completion date

Applications for a subclass 485 visa must be made within six months of the date of course completion.

The date of course completion is the date you first met the academic requirement for the award or your degree, diploma or trade qualification and were advised in writing by:

  • letter
  • publication in a newspaper
  • publication on the internet
  • email
  • bulletin board at the tertiary institution.

This date should not be confused with the date of conferral of award. The date of conferral is the date that the student actually receives their qualification, for example, at a graduation ceremony.

RequirementPoints
Completion of a Professional Year in Australia5

At the time of invitation to apply, you had completed a Professional Year. To be eligible for the award of these points your Professional Year must have been a program that was:

RequirementPoints
Hold a recognised qualification in a credentialled community language5

To be credentialed in a community language and eligible for the award of points you must have been accredited at the paraprofessional level or above, certified at the certified provisional level or above, or have a community language credential for interpreting or translating by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

RequirementPoints
You must have at least 1 degree, diploma or trade qualification from an Australian educational institution that satisfies the Australian study requirement obtained while living and studying in an eligible area of regional Australia5

To be eligible for the award of points your educational qualification:

  • must meet the Australian study requirement
  • have been obtained while you lived in, and studied at a campus in, one or more of the areas listed as  regional Australia or a low population-growth metropolitan area
  • not include study undertaken by distance education
RequirementPoints
Your spouse or de facto partner must also be an applicant for this visa and meet age and skill criteria5

For you to be eligible for the award of these points your partner must be an applicant for the same visa subclass and must not be an Australian permanent resident or an Australian citizen.  Additionally, you will need to provide evidence that when you were invited to apply for this visa that they:

  • was under 45 years old
  • had competent English
  • had nominated a skilled occupation that is on the same skilled occupation list as your nominated skilled occupation
  • had a suitable skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for their nominated skilled occupation, and the assessment wasn’t for a Subclass 485 visa.
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