There are a variety of visas available to people wanting to visit Australia. One visa pathway that is known is the “skilled occupations” visas, sometimes called MLTSSL or EOIs, or ‘points-based visas’.

In this article we will explain a little bit more in detail how the points system works to migrate to Australia and why the points are important in your migration process.

First of all, the point system for migration in Australia is only relevant if you have an occupation in demand in Australia. The occupation should be either in the Medium and Long Term Strategic List or Short term Skilled Occupation List.

Points System in Australia

Points are allocated to you for different aspects of your profile – such as age, education level, relevant skilled work experience, level of English and whether you have a partner or not (and whether your partner has competent English or a skilled occupation too).

There are other considerations that can give your profile more points – such as if you have studied in Australia – this can give you 5 points, and if it was regional study you can get 5 more points if you have completed a recognised professional year in Australia (certain occupations only) this can give you 5 points, or if you are able to gain relevant skilled work experience in Australia for one year, this can also give you 5 points.

The minimum mark you need to achieve is 65 points. However, the more points you have, the more likely you are to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency.


There is a little caveat/tip to this. The government has increasingly given more authority to states through the state sponsorship program. This means, that even with 50 points + 15 for an invitation of the right state, you could be applying for permanent residency.

Read more about State Sponsorship here

Is 65 points enough for 189 visa?

Mike is a Mechanic, and as this occupation is on the skilled list and one of the top 10 occupations in demand in Australia. Let’s do an example of how many points he would have and a strategy for him to boost his chances to get permanent residency in Australia.

  • He is 30, which would get him 30 points, as the age bracket of 25yr-33 yrs gives the maximum points. (When he turns 34, he would only get 25 points for his age).
  • He holds a passport from France and has studied English so he is confident he can achieve a good English score on the official test approved by Immigration – for example, if he gets 7s in an IELTS test, this would give him 10 points. This blog explains the options for English tests.
  • Mikes formal qualification is at the same level as an Australian equivalent trade certificate, so he gets 10 points for Education level.
  • Mike has gained 6 years of work experience as a mechanic since he qualified, so he can get 10 points for the overseas work experience.
  • Mikes partner can get a competent score in English and give him 5 points

Theoretically, Mike would have a total of 65 points, which is the minimum score needed to be considered for an invitation to lodge a visa, BUT as competition is high, Mike will likely need a higher score to improve his chances – so what are his options?

As we explained in this blog, a state or region can give either 5 points or 15 points towards the EOI score (if you are willing to live and work in a regional location).

So if Mike were to lodge an ‘Expression of Interest (EOI) and select a state that lists his occupation, then he would have the potential to increase his points, have less competition and be invited to lodge a permanent residency visa!

You can read more about the 491 and 190 visas here

EMSA has a team on hand to help you understand your options and explain all your options, click on the button below to start your journey to Australia!


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