Skilled Independent visas - how does the point system work?

Posted by Anna McLeod on 22 December 2016

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Are you familiar with the points required to receive an invitation for Skilled Independent (subclass 189) in your occupation?

The Skilled-Independent visa (subclass 189) is a permanent residence visa for points-tested skilled workers who want to work and live in Australia. To be able to apply for this visa you need to submit an expression of interest and then be invited through SkillSelect to apply.

Recent graduates need to be aware that the highest ranked applicants in each round are invited to apply for the relevant visa, and that the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has a set number of invitations, known as ‘Occupation ceilings’ for each year. Applicants are ranked by points score which is calculated on many factors; qualifications, English language ability and Professional Year completion among others. Visit DHA for details of what you can be awarded points for.

For applicants who have equal points scores, the time at which they reached their points score for that subclass (referred to as the visa ‘date of effect’) determines their order of invitation. Expressions of interest with an earlier date of effect are invited before later dates.

It is important to be aware of the minimum points score for each occupation in the recent invitation rounds. This can be monitored on the DHA SkillSelect website.

The most recent invitation round, issued on 23 November 2016, saw invitations going to those with high points scores in a range of skills. These can be seen below and on the DHA SkillSelect website.

Occupation identification Description Points Score


Accountants 70
2212 Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers 70
2611 ICT Business and System Analysts 65
2613 Software and Applications Programmers 65
2339 Other Engineering Professionals 65
2631 Computer Network Professionals 65

As seen in the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) checklist; for Accountants, IT graduates and some Engineering graduates, while the points score required for these occupation areas remains high, it is more important than ever to enrol in the Professional Year in the four years before you are invited to apply.  

Not only does the Professional Year give graduates access to an additional five migration points, it provides expert career guidance and workplace training. Navitas Professional trainers have current real-world business experience with global and ASX 100 companies such as CPA, KPMG and Rio Tinto.

All graduates have access to advanced professional seminars and workshops covering a range of up to date job seeking strategies and tools. We provide ongoing one-on-one career assistance to all our graduates so that they have the support network and confidence to use the skills they have.

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