Australia is a lucrative choice for people who want to migrate to another country. The main reasons why Australia is so popular and the desired place to migrate to include many important aspects. Australia offers high living standards along with a society full of cultural and lingual diversity. The education system in Australia is excellent, ranking 8th in the world, with many top-tier educational institutions with a wide range of study programs. Australia also offers great accommodation facilities to international students as well. Moreover, Australia is fully equipped to provide casual jobs and permanent job facilities to almost all eligible residents. The outstanding flora and fauna of this country are another aspect that attracts people to consider migrating to Australia. However, Australia is disproportionately less populated in its vast area and that is why it has been welcoming immigrants. The main factor behind this immigrant approval is to address the prevalent skill gaps in numerous industries throughout the country. The annual quota for permanent residency (PR) visas in the country is approximately 1,600,000. The visas are generally granted to skilled workers, their family members, and foreign investors who invest in businesses in Australia. Despite seeming complicated, the process of permanent residency in Australia can be a straightforward procedure. Understanding the Australian point system is all that is required to acquire enough points to become a permanent resident. This article will serve as a guide to understanding the PR point system in Australia and how you can accumulate enough points to become a permanent resident.
The PR point system of Australia is basically a tool based on points given according to specific criteria. Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) uses the Australian point-based system to evaluate and rank prospective immigrants. This point-based system is designed in such a way that the potential immigrant is able to contribute to the country’s development in a long term through his skills and potentiality.
Usually, potential immigrants are selected from skilled workers and their families through the skill selection program. You can take interest in applying for permanent residency (PR) in Australia if you have a skill that the country is experiencing a scarcity of. MLTSSL (Medium and Long Terms Strategic Skill List) and STSOL (Short-Term Skilled Occupational Demand List) are the two major lists that feature all the most in-demand skills in Australia.
Understanding the PR point system is the first step in applying for permanent residency in Australia. This system is transparent and very easy to understand. Your points can be earned based on your educational qualification, English proficiency, and employment background and you can calculate your eligibility by PR calculators online.
A minimum score of 65 points is required to be eligible for permanent residency and to lodge an Express of Interest (EOI) for an application for PR. A candidate possessing a score higher than 80 can be considered a strong candidate and a score of 90 or above means the candidate will be invited in a short period of time. If you have the skill sets of becoming a potential immigrant, you will be eligible to apply for the following visas after you get your invitation:
Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) (permanent visa)
Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) (permanent visa)
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) (Temporary Visa, pathway to Permanent visa)
The PR point system is based on several factors. Points are allocated based on these criteria and the total point will indicate the eligibility of applying for PR. Their criteria include the following:
Age is considered a factor for the point-based system to ensure that certain age groups can contribute to the country’s economy. Different points are awarded to candidates based on their age and applicants between 25-32 years receive the most points while those over 45 receive the least. But there is nothing to be worried about this as age is not the only criterion for PR eligibility.
Here’s how the DIBP award points based on age:
18-24 years – 25 points
25-32 years – 30 points
33-39 years – 25 points
40-44 years – 15 points
45 years and over – 0 points
Language proficiency is a significant factor in accumulating points for PR applications. Language proficiency is generally divided into three main levels and each level earns a different value of points :
Competent English - 0 points
Proficient English- 10 points
Superior English- 20 points
The higher your score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the more points you will receive. Other than IELTS, the Occupational English Test (OET), the Pearson Test of English (PTE), and the Cambridge C1 Advanced English Test (CAE) are also accepted for proficiency scores. If you have applied for any study program within three years of your PR application, you might already have your PTE or IELTS test scores. You need to get a minimum score on one of these tests to get the points mentioned for each level. You can opt for taking English preparation courses by reliable agencies for efficient outcomes in these tests. The score criteria include the following:
IELTS score of 6 or more in all 4 sections (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking)
PTE Academic score of 50 in all 4 sections (Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking)
IELTS score of 7 or more in all 4 sections
PTE Academic score of 65 in all 4 sections
IELTS score of 8 or more in all 4 sections
PTE Academic score of 79 in all 4 sections
Your work experience can greatly impact your overall score as the importance of skilled employment in migration is immense. Longer work experience in Australia earns the most points while work experience with no relevance earns the least. Official evidence of your work experience will be required to provide with your application. This includes employment contracts, payslips, or reference letters from your employer.
The Australian government's Department of Home Affairs lists the following points for overseas skilled workers applying for permanent residency in the country:
Less than three years of relevant work experience – 0 points
Less than 5 years of relevant work experience – 5 points
Less than 8 years of relevant work experience – 10 points
8 years of relevant work experience – 15 points
Again, this point breakdown will be different if you have worked in Australia. The point list for Australian work experience will be:
Less than 1 year of relevant work experience – 0 points
1-year relevant work experience – 5 points
3 years of relevant work experience – 10 points
5 years of relevant work experience – 15 points
8 years of relevant work experience – 20 points
In the point-based immigration system, your level of education will play a significant role. The higher your education level, the more points you will achieve. If your educational qualification is from an education program in an Australian institution, you will get an extra advantage. Many reliable consultancy agencies can help you with educational counseling services for getting an opportunity in a good program in Australia. Moreover, if your educational institution is from overseas, it must be of a recognized standard to be counted as eligible.
Here are the points for each level of educational qualification:
Doctorate – 20 points
Bachelor’s/Master’s degree – 15 points
Diploma or trade qualification from Australia – 10 points
Award/qualification recognized by the authority for your nominated occupation - 10 points
A master’s degree in research or a doctorate from an Australian institution that includes a minimum of 2 academic years of study in a relevant field gets 5 points.
Five points will be added to your PR total if you obtain a qualification from an institution in Regional Australia by living and studying in the region. You will be required to complete at least one diploma or degree or trade qualification from an institution in Regional Australia to obtain these five points. Regional area study can greatly impact your PR pathway.
You need to have worked continuously for 12 months in a nominated occupation or a closely related one to avail of this point. Completion of a professional year in Australia gets 5 points and the benefits of professional years for PR are very significant.
A nomination or sponsorship generally means that someone will attest that you will be a good citizen of a particular society. The government or a citizen of Australia can directly nominate you. Having someone vouch for you will impact your scores greatly.
If you are sponsored by a state or territory government, you’ll be awarded 5 points added to your total score.
If you are sponsored by a close relative (a spouse, de facto partner, child, or parent), you will be awarded 10 additional points.
Your partner or spouse can affect your scores too. You can consider partner visa consultancy services from a reliable agency to make the process hassle-free. The partner points criteria work in the following way:
You are single or your partner is an Australian citizen or an Australian PR holder - 10 points
Your partner has competent English and has a positive skill assessment for a nominated skilled occupation on the same skilled occupation list as yours - 10 points
Your partner has competent English and is not an Australian citizen or an Australian PR Holder - 5 points.
According to the stated criteria, you can now calculate your points for determining your eligibility to apply for PR in Australia. As mentioned earlier, if your score is 80 to 90 or above, you have a high chance of receiving PR from the Australian government. A score of 65 or below automatically rejects your eligibility for PR, so if your total score turns out to be less than 65, you will be unable to apply to PR in Australia.
Among the 16,0,000 PR visas granted every year, 25000 positions are allocated for regional migration. Skilled immigrants who wish to migrate to regional areas of the country can avail this exclusive advantage. Consultancy agencies can help you through your visa application processes with their specialized visa services to make the procedures less hectic. Also, they can provide you with migration consultancy and PR pathway guidance for smoothening the procedures.
Australia is one of the most desired destinations for people wishing to migrate to another country because of its multicultural society, high standards of living, educational and occupational facilities and excellence, beautiful nature, and many more reasons. To select among potential immigrants for permanent residency in Australia, the government uses a tool known as the PR point system. This system is based on some specific criteria on which points are given to a potential immigrant. These criteria include age, educational qualification, professional year, partner skills, sponsorship, language proficiency, etc. By adding all the points according to the requirements, you can easily figure out if you are eligible or not to apply for PR in Australia and how high your chances are of receiving PR.
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Answer. A minimum of 65 points are required to become eligible to apply for PR in Australia.
Answer. You can continue your PR visa for five years and usually have to apply for a Resident Return Visa (Subclass 155) or citizenship to travel from and to Australia after five years.
Answer. Four years and one additional year with the PR visa can enable you to be considered a permanent resident.
Answer. Yes, you can stay as long as you want but you cannot legally travel internationally until you apply for and receive a Resident Return Visa after your PR visa expires.