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Review Of The Points Test Discussion Paper

Australia's Migration Strategy, unveiled on December 11, 2023, charts a new course for the country's immigration landscape. Central to this strategy is the exploration of an updated points test, aimed at better identifying migrants who can contribute to Australia's long-term prosperity.

How does the points test work today?


Australia's immigration framework relies heavily on the points test, which assigns scores according to various criteria to assess eligibility for different visa programs. These programs, such as the Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189), Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190), and Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491), aim to attract migrants possessing key skills and attributes vital for Australia's economic and social progress.

The Points Test plays a crucial role in evaluating candidates' suitability for Australian visas objectively. It ensures that migrants have the necessary skills and qualities to thrive in Australia's diverse and competitive environment. Australia's goal is to enhance its workforce, foster innovation, and drive growth across different sectors through this approach.

For visas like Skilled Nominated and Regional Skilled Work Provisional, migrants also need a nomination from a state or territory government. Each state or territory sets its criteria for this, which can include having specific occupations on their priority lists, giving preference to graduates from local universities, or requiring a commitment to live in that region.


Criteria Evaluated in the Points Test:


The points system assigns scores based on criteria such as age, education, skills, and English proficiency to rank potential migrants. To qualify for a points-based visa, migrants must have a relevant qualification and experience in an occupation listed, demonstrate English proficiency, be under the age of 45, and achieve a minimum score of 65 points.


  • Age: Younger migrants typically receive higher points, reflecting Australia's emphasis on attracting skilled individuals in their prime working years.

  • English Language Proficiency: Proficiency in English, assessed through standardized tests, is vital for effective communication and integration into Australian society.

  • Employment Experience: Both international and Australian work experience are considered, with points awarded for skills aligned with Australia's labor market needs.

  • Educational Qualifications: Academic achievements, including specialized degrees and studies in regional Australia, contribute significantly to points allocation.

  • Partner's Skills: The points test also factors in the skills and qualifications of the migrant's partner, recognizing the potential contributions of families to Australia's workforce.

The Discussion Paper Includes the Following Points:


  •   Emphasizing characteristics linked to migrants' success in securing skilled employment through the points test.

  • Acknowledging the importance of experience without leading to a prolonged state of temporary status.

  • Targeting skills essential for Australia's current and future needs through the points test.

  • Improving the focus on young migrants to tackle challenges posed by an aging population.

  • Addressing the limited recognition of partners' potential contributions within the points test.

  • Balancing fairness and certainty for migrants during transition arrangements alongside the necessity for reform.

  • Conducting regular reviews of the points test to ensure it aligns with its intended objectives.


The Department of Home Affairs has welcomed participation feedback from stakeholders and the public, valuable insights that could shape future revisions and policy directions. This document, specifically addressing the points system, is accessible for review, and submissions are welcome until 5 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time on Friday, May 24, 2024.


Australia is always working to enhance its migration pathways by collaborating and engaging regularly. This ensures that these pathways remain flexible to meet evolving economic and social needs while upholding principles of fairness and inclusivity.


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