Australia lowers visa passmark - more skilled immigration

We are happy to report that it is now easier for UK workers and others to immigrate to work in Australia since the Australian government has lowered the current pass mark for their SkillSelect program. Australian immigration announced last month that the pass mark to qualify for EOI - SkillSelect would be lowered to 60 points from 1 July 2012. Previously, applicants needed a points score of 65 points to meet the requirements for skilled immigration.


The following visas are affected by this change:

  • Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa: This points-based visa is for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member.
  • Skilled - Nominated (subclass 190) visa: This points-based visa is for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory.
  • Skilled - Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa: This points-based visa is for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area in Australia.

An Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said the change to the pass mark was part of the reforms to the skilled migration program.

The following visas will remain open for new applicants until 1 January 2013 and the points test pass mark for these visas will remain at 65 points:

  • Skilled Independent (Residence) Visa (Subclass 885): This visa allows overseas students who have completed their course studies in the last six months in Australia and holders of certain temporary visas to apply for permanent residency.
  • Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) visa (subclass 886): This visa works the same as the Subclass 885 visa but you must be sponsored by an eligible relative living in Australia or obtain nomination from a participating state or territory government agency.
  • Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 487): This visa is a three year provisional visa for overseas students and certain visa holders who are unable to meet the criteria for a permanent skilled visa. This visa requires you to be either nominated by a participating state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area of Australia.

All of the above visa categories come under the new SkillSelect program.

Under Australia's new skilled worker program, SkillSelect, applicants have to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) before their visa can be processed. The SkillSelect system works as an electronic two-stage process where prospective visa applicants first submit a claim for skilled migration through an online EOI. Applicants may then be invited to submit an Australian visa application on the basis of their EOI.

Australian visa applicants will be selected to submit an application based on their points test score in a number of selection criteria. You can earn points for your age, English language ability, work experience, and education. All prospective visa applicants will be required to meet the relevant English language requirements and obtain the necessary skills assessment prior to their EOI submission.

The lowering of the pass mark is good news as it means more immigrants will be eligible to apply for an Australian visa.


If you would like to apply for an Australian visa, workpermit.com can help. workpermit.com is a specialist visa consultancy with nearly twenty-five years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Please feel free to contact us for further details.