Australian visas – the points system
When you’re looking at visas for moving to Australia the points system can be confusing.
Like most countries, Australia offers a range of different working visas, many with differing requirements. While not all visa classes use the points system, it is common for many permanent visas.
Here’s a brief overview of the Australian points system to get you started.
What is Australia’s points system for immigration?
Australia’s visa points system ranks potential long-term migrant workers to help select the ones that have the most to offer the country. With a limited number of visas available, ranking all applicants against a set of criteria can help choose the best candidates for longer-term or permanent visas.
The points system is intended to “attract migrants who are highly skilled in key occupations of medium to long-term need in Australia.” Generally these visas require people with work experience and skills in areas where there’s a shortage of specific need in Australia’s existing workforce.
While there are employee sponsored visas, where a migrant already has a job offer and the employer supports their application, independant visas are the ones where the points system becomes especially relevant.
For independant Australian visas, an applicant has to register their interest through the SkillSelect system. SkillSelect ranks applicants based on information like their age, experience, and education background. They’ll also need to select an occupation from the Skills Occupation List and will be assessed later to ensure they do have the relevant skills and experience.
Australia points system
For each class of visa that has a points system, a “pass mark” is set. Essentially, applicants are given a number of points for each category. Generally the assessment categories include:
The number of points given to each area can vary depending on the visa, so it’s best to look at the requirements for your specific visa. The Visa Bureau can be a helpful starting point but always make sure to check official information on the Australian government website.
One of the benefits of a points system is that it sets clear standards for entry requirements, and helps give the government oversight and control over who’s immigrating and how it fits into the bigger picture. On the other hand, the simplicity of the system doesn’t easily take into account some of the “softer” and just as important skills a potential employee might have, like communication skills.
Tips for applying for an Australian visa
- Research the types of visas available before you start. You may find that you’re eligible for a visa that doesn’t use a points based system, or that one type of visa is a better match for you than others.
- Find a couple of good online points calculators before you start the application process. This can help you decide if it’s worth pursuing that visa or not.
- Have all the information you need gathered together before you apply. This makes things easier for you, and helps ensure you fully understand all the requirements before you officially apply. You can apply for many visas online.
- Be truthful. This may seem obvious, but a misleading answer is likely to be found out and it could jeopardise your chances in the future as well as the present.
- When you start the application process, make sure you’re applying for the correct one! There are several subclasses of visa so it can be an easy mistake if you’re not paying attention.
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