Three Ways to Increase your Points for Skilled Migration

The Australian General Skilled Migration Programme (“GSM”) is designed to address skill and labour shortages by targeting skilled and experienced migrants in eligible occupations.


Visas within the General Skilled Migration program are points tested and are either Independent, such as Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189); State / Territory sponsored, such as Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190) or Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)


GSM Programme Background

The GSM Programme operates on a points-based system as a method of ranking and prioritising applicants based on certain characteristics such as education, work experience and language skills. The relevant State Government will then assess an applicant’s Expression of Interest (“EOI”) and issue an invitation to submit a visa application based on an applicant’s total points score. Naturally, the higher your total score, the more favourable your prospects of receiving an invitation as the system is competitive in nature. 


How to increase points for 189, 190 and 491 Visas

There are several ways in which you may increase your total points, some of which must be addressed prior to the submission of your EOI, hence the importance of pre-planning when migrating to Australia. Below are three ways in which you may increase your total points score for skilled migration to Australia.


1. Credentialed Community Language Test – Five Points

The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (“NAATI”) have recently introduced a Credentialed Community Language (“CCL”) Test that awards five additional points for skilled migration for its successful completion. Applicants will be tested on their ability to interpret two recorded dialogues based on a conversation between an English speaker and a speaker of your elected language other than English (“LOTE”).


You will be assessed on your ability to convey the sense and meaning of what each speaker discussed, with only a five second delay permitted after the completion of each segment. You must demonstrate accurate comprehension in both English and the LOTE and participate with little deviation from the standard pronunciation, style, expression and register.


The five additional points awarded upon completion of this test may provide you with the competitive edge necessary to secure an invitation from the relevant State Government, and should therefore be considered as an option to improve your EOI.


2. Regional Study – Five Points

By electing to study at an educational institution located in a Designated Regional Area (“DRA”) of Australia, you may claim an additional five points on your EOI. Regional areas include Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Wollongong, Newcastle, Canberra, Hobart, Lake Macquarie, Geelong and Illawarra. To qualify for the additional five points, you must have completed either a single eligible qualification that required at least two (2) years academic study or combination of qualifications comprising of at least two (2) academic years study resulting in an eligible qualification.


You must have both studied and resided in a DRA and the qualification may not be undertaken by distance education. The study must also have been completed in no less than 16 calendar months and the qualification must be registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institution and Courses for Overseas Students (“CRICOS”) in order to be eligible. The qualification may be a degree, diploma or trade qualification.


This is consistent with the Australia Government’s regional incentive campaign designed to encourage increased migration to regional areas of Australia. You may also be eligible for a second subclass 485 visa in the Post-Study Work stream upon meeting the above criteria.


3.Partner Skills – Maximum 10 Points 

Applicants who are migrating with a de facto partner or spouse may claim an additional five points should the migrating partner meet certain age, educational, occupational and English language thresholds. To be eligible for the full 10 points, the primary applicant’s partner must satisfy the following criteria:


  • be under 45 years of age at time of invitation to apply;
  • hold a suitable skills assessment from the relevant skills assessing authority for their nominated occupation;
  • provide evidence of at least competent English demonstrated through either an IELTS, PTE, TOEFL, OET or Cambridge test or a valid passport from an eligible country; and
  • hold an eligible occupation.


The primary applicant’s partner must have an occupation on either the Regional Occupation List (“ROL”), the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (“STSOL”) or the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (“MLTSSL”). The required occupation list will depend on the particular subclass of visa.


For the subclass 491 (State Sponsored) visa, the primary applicant’s partner may hold an occupation on any of the above three lists. The subclass 190 allows for an occupation on either the STSOL or the MLTSSL and the subclass 189 (Independent) and subclass 491 (Family Sponsored) visas require the primary applicant’s partner to have an occupation on the MLTSSL.


Alternatively, you may claim the maximum 10 points if you are single or your partner is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.


There are several avenues in which applicants may claim additional points for the GSM Programme to submit a more competitive EOI and secure an invitation from the nominating State Government. To explore your options further or for more information, please contact our immigration lawyers and registered migration agents who will assist you to identify ways in which you can maximise your prospects of securing an invitation.


Need help with getting Australian Visas?


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Tel:  +61 (07) 3876 4000



We will help you by exploring visa options and securing application. As part of our services, we will assess the eligibility of the application for a partner visa and help you to get out of the abusive relationship and provide you with detailed advice on your chances of success. If you would like to discuss your visa options and evaluate the pathway to permanent residency, please make an enquiry  or  book a consultation to get expert advice with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agents/Lawyers on 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected].


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