Skilled Visa Points Score Threshold Increase

29 Jun 2018

Home Affairs Australia (the Department of Immigration) have announced a dramatic change to the General Skilled Migration Program. In the first major change to the points test pass mark since July 2012, they have increased the pass mark from 60 to 65 points - effective from 1 July 2018.To lodge a valid expression of interest for the following visas an applicant will now need a minimum of 65 points:

Skilled Independent (Permanent) subclass 189 visa;

Skilled State Nominated (Permanent) subclass 190 visa;

Skilled Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 489 visa.


Where does this leave me?

The breaking news will affect thousands of skilled visa applicants in a variety of ways, depending on both your current points score and aslo whether there is any flexibility where points are concerned in your application. We will highlight a few example scenarios and how this might affect you as prospecitve applicants below:


Points Score Above the New 65 point Threshold

If you are fortunate enough that your points score is currently either equal to, or above, the 65 points threshold you should not be effected by this increase, on the basis that you are able to provide the requisite evidence to back up the points you are intending to claim. You will have to be careful that you are not set to lose points in certain categories, whilst ensuring that your calculations in other departments are astute. If you are at all concerned by this and would appreciate the advice of a Registered Migration Agent in this matter please do not hesitate to contact us at Immigration2oz.


Points Score Below the new Threshold - Options Available to reach 65 Points

If your current points forecast is below this new 65 point threshold, there may still be hope of increasing your points score to give yourself the best chance of obtaining an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a skilled visa. Immigration2oz would be delighted to work with you on a tailored basis to cover all factors we need in considering options of increasing your points score. The two best options, most likely, to increase your points would either be to increase your English Language Test Score; or to opt for State Nomination. Another option may be Regional State Nomination/Family Sponsorship.  Other alternatives are to try claim more work experience (if possible) or to claim bonus points for partner skills (if applicable, and possible).


Points Score Below the new Threshold - 65 Points Out of Reach

You may be in a position that you have already exploited the maximum scores attainable for English, Work Experience and Bonus Points, meaning that you will not be able to reach the new point score pass mark and as such you probably need to investigate employer sponsorship options. If you are in doubt please feel to complete our free visa evaluation, following which one of our Registered Migration Agents will look to see if they can find a way for you to reach the 60 point mark. If not they will send you some information regarding the employer sponsored visas.


Invitations to Apply

For applicants who have already obtained Invitations to Apply (but have still not obtained a Visa Grant) below the 65 points threshold, your application should not be affected by these upcoming changes. The changes will only affect applicants who have not yet been invited to apply.


How should I react to this news?

Whichever category you may fall under, it is important that you proceed diligently and would heavily recommend doing so under the guidance and expertise of a registered migration agent. If you are interested in obtaining an Australian Skilled Visa, and are keen to utilise our stress-free visa services, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us and kick-start the process with our free visa evaluation. This will enable us to obtain the neccessary information for us to provide you with clear advice as to what we think your best visa options are, in reflection of these changes that have been made.

It is most unfortunate that the Department has increased the points score, as many prospective applicants have been disadvantaged as a result. We expect this will put more pressure on the State Nomination Programme. It would also seem that unprecidented changes, such as these, are to be expected from the Department of Immigration moving forward. If you are committed to obtaining an Australian Visa we recommend avoiding unnecessary delays in moving your application forward, as we are unsure of what other negative changes might be around the corner.

Immigration2oz are always here to answer any queries or concerns you may have, so please feel free to send us an email through to or give us a call on 01483550914 to discuss further. Alternatively complete our free visa evaluation for clarity on your visa points score and where this leaves you.