All you need to know about General Skilled Migration to Australia
All you need to know about General Skilled Migration to Australia
November 29, 2022 | 7 min read

The most common form of migration to Australia is the Skilled Migration Program, that attracts highly skilled, and employable people Down Under. General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa is issued to individuals with certain skills. The visa is for those individuals who can get sponsorship of an employer in Australia.

Under the provisions of GSM, skilled professionals, workers can use expertise, qualification, and experience to migrate to and settle in Australia. For this, they have to go through the Skill Select program that involves the submission of an EOI (Expression of Interest), and the visa application.

Under Migration Regulations 1994, Schedule 6D, the general points test for Skilled Migration visas is subsumed.

Schedule 6D applies to Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189), Skilled Nominated visa – subclass 190 and Skilled Regional sponsored visa – subclass 489.

Points Test Requirements

The Skill Select system is based on points, which are awarded on various criteria. To be granted a visa, applicants have to score a minimum of 60 points. Let’s take a look at how points are awarded.

Nominated occupation

To apply for the General Skilled Migration program, applicants have to nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) or the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL), depending on their visa type. Applicants also have to get their skills assessed by the relevant authority.

To find the list of Skilled Occupations, you can use the ANZSCO tool.


Follow the table given below for regulations regarding the applicant’s age:

Applicant’s age at the time of invitationNumber of points
Points alloted to applicant based on the age range.

English Language Proficiency

The English test results must not be older than three years before the day on which the application was made. The applicant must be able to prove at least a competent level of English.

TestCompetent EnglishProficient EnglishSuperior English
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)At least 6 for each of the 4 componentsAt least 7 for each of the 4 test componentsAt least 8 for each of the 4 test components
Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT)At least 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 forspeakingAt least 24 for listening, 24 for reading, 27 for writing and 23 forspeakingAt least 28 for listening, 29 for reading, 30 for writing and 26 for speaking
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)At least 50 for each of the 4 componentsAt least 65 for each of the 4 test componentsAt least 79 for each of the 4 test components
Occupational English Test (OET)At least C for each of the 4 test componentsAt least B for each of the 4 test componentsAt least A for each of the 4 test components
Cambridge C1 Advanced testAt least 169 in each of the 4 componentsAt least 185 in each of the 4 test componentsAt least 200 in each of the 4 test components
Score required in each English proficiency test toattain each level of English competency.

Skilled Employment

Number of years in skilled employment outside Australia (in the last ten years)

Number of years in skilled employment outside Australia (in the last ten years)Points
3 years5
5 years10
8 years15

Educational Qualifications

Bachelor’s/Master’s degree15
Australian Diploma/trade qualification10
Award/qualification recognized by assessing authority10

Australian Qualifications:

Any degree, diploma/trade qualification earned in Australia after at least 2 years of study fetches the applicant 5 points.

Regional Study

If the applicant has a degree, diploma, or trade qualification in Australia after at least 2 years of study in regional Australia, then it fetches 5 points.

Community Language Skills

If the applicant has translator or interpreter level of language skills in any of Australia’s designation community languages, then they can gain 5 points. The skills have to recognized by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

Spouse/Partner Skills & Qualifications

If the applicant includes their spouse/partner on the visa application, 5 points can be gained on account of the spouse’s skills. The partner must meet the basic requirements for General Skilled Migration (age, English language proficiency, and nominated occupation).

Professional Year Program

If the applicant has completed an approved Professional Year in Australia in the last 4 years, then they can gain 5 points. The professional year must be in the nominated occupation or a closely related occupation.

Nominations & Sponsorship

Those who have applied for Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) or Skilled Nominated or Sponsored visa (Subclass 489), stand to get 5 points on account of being sponsored by an Australian state or Territory government.

What is the Pro-Rata System?

Australia Immigration conducts a draw of sorts every month, to select the limited number of top Expression of Interest (EOI) application with the highest points. It sends these applicants PR invitation.

This is to eliminate the possibility of some skills having more EOIs than other categories. This is known as the ‘pro-rata’ system.

Benefits of Migrating to Regional Areas

When skilled migrants settle in regional Australia, they get a diverse range of available occupations to match their experience, skills, and qualification. These occupations are in line with skills in demand in regional areas.

There are visas to help migrants find work, develop skills and benefit from living in a regional community.

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