How Many Points Do I Need for Permanent Residency?

How Many Points Do I Need for Permanent Residency (PR)?

We are often asked by clients how many points do you need to receive an invitation for general skilled migration. The answer for this question depends on which visa you are applying for. It can also depend on other factors such as what occupation you are applying with and are you working in your current industry in Australia?

We have had some clients receive an invitation with as low as 55 points, plus 15 points for regional nomination, bringing the total to 70 points. Some unlucky applicants may have 85 points and still not receive an invitation.

Please note the points test is relevant only for general skilled migration visas.

General Skilled Migration Visas include:
The Skilled Independent – Subclass 189 (Permanent Residency)
The State Nomination – Subclass 190 (Permanent Residency)
The Skilled Regional – Subclass 491 (5 year open work visa that leads to Permanent Residency)
The Family-Sponsored – Subclass 491 (5 year open work visa that leads to Permanent Residency)

Which visas require the Highest Points?

The Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) and Family Sponsored (Subclass 491) require applicants to have the highest points. This is because these visas are only points tested. Nothing else except how many points you score decides if you will receive an invitation. The points required to receive an invitation are published each month by immigration. Currently, you will need at least 90 – 95 points to receive an invitation.

Why is it so high?

Recently, Australian Immigration has decreased the number of applicants being invited to apply for the Skilled Independent or Family Sponsored Visas. The demand for these visas is much higher than the supply, so the points required increased.

Consequently, Australian Immigration is allowing the individual states and territories a lot more freedom to invite applicants to apply for the State Nominated Subclass 190 or Skilled Regional Subclass 491.

Which visas require the Lowest Points?

The State Nominated (Subclass 190) and Skilled Regional (Subclass 491) visas require the lowest points. Recently we have had applicants receive an invitation to apply for the 190 with as low as 70 points and 65 points for the 491. The points you require to receive an invitation may vary from state to state. Each state may also have different nomination requirements.
Recently we had an applicant receive an invitation with the points listed below:
Age – 25 points
Education Qualification – 10 points
Study in Australian (2 years) – 5 points
Work in Australia (1 year) – 5 points
Relationship Status (Single) – 10 points
Regional Nomination – 15 points
Total = 70 points

What Factors are important for State Nomination?

Are you living and working in the state?
Is the occupation on State or Regional Skilled Occupation List?
What is the demand for the specific occupation in the state or region?
What other applicants have applied for State Migration and what points do they have?
Do you have a genuine commitment to living and working in the state?
Do you have an offer of employment from an employer?

For the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189), immigration generally selects the applicant with the highest points (regardless of occupation). However, state migration focuses specifically on what the demand for the state is for the occupations. Each State would like a variety of different occupations, so quite often applicants with lower scores will receive an invitation. This is often particularly advantageous for trade occupations who find it difficult to obtain a lot of points.

Recent Trends

Recently we have noticed that state nomination is becoming increasingly difficult for offshore applicants. Many states are only accepting onshore applicants for those living and working in the state. Additionally, many state or territory programs are only accepting expressions of interests sporadically throughout the year. So, when you submit your expression of interest is often more important compared to how many points you have.

If your occupation is on the state list and you meet the requirements, it doesn’t guarantee you will receive an invitation. States do not publish what points you need to receive an invitation. This is a competitive process and there is no set waiting list to apply for state nomination, but rather a pool of candidates that is constantly changing.

The state generally selects the highest-ranking candidates who meet the state nomination criteria in each specific occupation. They may not necessarily select the applicants with the highest points.