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Under Australia’s skilled migration program, points-based systems are currently used in determining eligibility for two provisional visas (the “Business Innovation and Investment” visa and the “Skilled Work Regional” visa), both of which allow holders to subsequently apply for particular permanent residence visas, and two permanent residence visas (the “Skilled Independent” visa and the “Skilled Nominated” visa). The process for these visas involves the submission of an expression of interest (EOI), which includes completion of the relevant points test, and the issuance of an invitation to apply for the visa. Where state or territory nomination is required for a visa, a relevant government agency selects EOIs from the pool based on its own criteria. The points test for three of the above visas is largely the same, with additional points added for required state or territory nominations or family sponsorship, and the “pool” and “pass” marks for the test are established by a legislative instrument. The “Business Innovation and Investment” visa is subject to a different points test under the relevant regulations.

All of the points-based visas allow the primary applicant to include his or her partner and dependent children in the application. In addition, the two provisional visas allow family members to obtain the same visa as “subsequent entrants.” Australian citizens and residents can also sponsor parents, partners, children, and other relatives for visas, each with their own criteria with respect to, for example, age, income or other funds, relationship, and dependencies.

I. Introduction

Australia’s Immigration and Citizenship Program is administered by the Department of Home Affairs. The immigration program is primarily governed by the Migration Act 1958 (Cth)[1] and Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth).[2] Various additional legislative instruments apply to aspects of the program.[3]

Within the immigration program, the Migration Program has three primary programs: “a Skilled program, a Family program and a Special Eligibility program which are managed within a ceiling. The program also includes the Child program which is demand driven and does not have a ceiling.”[4] According to the Department of Homeland Security,

[t]here are a range of visa products in the Skilled program which are designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia that cannot be filled by suitable skilled Australians. The majority of the places in the Migration Program are in the Skilled program, currently set at approximately 70 per cent of the program.[5]

For the fiscal year starting July 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2020, the total places available in the Migration Program are capped at a ceiling of 160,000. Of this number, 108,682 places are allocated to the Skilled program and 47,732 places are allocated to the Family program.[6] The Skilled program is made up of different streams, with different ceilings applied to each. This includes the Employer Sponsored stream, the Skilled Independent stream, the Regional stream, the State/Territory Nominated stream, the Business Innovation and Investment program, the Global Talent stream, and the Distinguished Talent stream.[7]

The Family program “is predominately made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas, and provide them with pathways to citizenship.”[8] In addition to the Partner stream, there is a Parent stream and an Other Family stream.[9]

Within the Skilled program, points-based systems are currently used in determining eligibility for the following four visa subclasses:[10] the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) (only for the Business Innovation stream and the Investor stream);[11] the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) (Points Tested stream);[12] the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190);[13] and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491).[14]

A person seeking one of the above visas must submit an expression of interest (EOI) using the Department of Home Affair’s SkillSelect website and then be invited to apply for the relevant visa.[15] For Skilled Independent and Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visas, “invitations are issued automatically by the SkillSelect system to the highest ranking EOIs, subject to occupational ceilings.”[16] For state and territory nominated visas, the person can either nominate a single state or territory, or nominate to be chosen by any state or territory. A relevant government agency in a state or territory “will identify and select skilled workers that they wish to nominate,” based on their own criteria, and SkillSelect will then send the person an invitation to apply. Similarly, for Business Innovation and Investment visas, state and territory government agencies will identify and select people they might want to nominate, based on the EOIs.[17] Once a person has been invited to apply for a visa, he or she has 60 days from the date of the invitation in which to apply for the visa.

The Department notes that, after each invitation round, it “will publish the lowest points scoring points test mark that allowed an EOI to be invited,” thereby giving an indication of the potential for individuals to receive an invitation in future rounds.[18] There is no charge for submitting an EOI.

Each of the visas are subject to eligibility criteria in addition to the points test. This includes health[19] and character[20] requirements that apply to most visa applicants. In addition, English language requirements apply to all skilled visas, with the required level established as part of the eligibility criteria for each visa.[21] Visa applicants are also required to sign or accept an “Australian values statement” when applying for a visa.[22]

Each of the points-based visas listed above make provision for certain family members to be included in a person’s application, and the provisional visas also allow family members to subsequently join the visa holder. Eligible family members are referred to as being a “member of a family unit.” For visa purposes, this term refers to the main applicant’s spouse or de facto partner; and the main applicant’s child or their partner’s child, provided any child is not engaged, married, or in a de facto relationship and is under 18 years of age, 18 to 23 years of age and dependent on the applicant or their partner, or over 23 years of age and dependent on the applicant or their partner due to a physical or mental disability. A dependent child of any such eligible child can also be considered a member of the family unit.[23]

In addition, there are various visas available to partners, parents, children, and other relatives of Australian citizens and residents.[24]

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II. Points-Based Visas

The use of a points system for certain classes of visas is provided for under part 2, division 3, subdivision 3 of the Migration Act. The Act enables the Minister to set a pool mark (for entry of an EOI into the pool) and a pass mark (for selection of an EOI from the pool).[25] Part 2, division 2.6 of the Migration Regulations sets out the prescribed qualifications for subclass 189, 190, and 491 visas (referred to as “General Skilled Migration Visas”). Schedule 6D of the Regulations contains the points test for these visas, which is reproduced in Appendix II of this report. The current pool and pass mark of 65 points is established by a 2019 legislative instrument.[26]

The use of points tests for certain subclass 188 visa streams is established separately through the Migration Regulations.[27] The points tests for these streams is set out in schedule 7A of the Regulations, which is reproduced in Appendix I of this report. A legislative instrument made in accordance with the Regulations establishes that applicants must score a minimum of 65 points in order to be eligible for this visa.[28]

A. Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188)

1. General

The subclass 188 visa consists of several streams: Business Innovation stream, Investor stream, Significant Investor stream, Premium Investor stream, and Entrepreneur stream.[29] The first two of these streams are points-tested. Holders of a visa in either stream are able to stay in Australia for up to four years and three months. They may subsequently be eligible for a permanent resident visa, the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) (under the Business Innovation stream or Investor stream for this visa).[30]

The subclass 188 Business Innovation stream requires the holder to operate a new or existing business in Australia, while the Investor stream requires an investment of at least AU$1.5 million (about US$1.03 million) in an Australian state or territory and the maintenance of business or investment activity in Australia.

To be eligible for this visa under the Business Innovation stream, a person must be nominated by a state or territory government agency after submitting an EOI, and then be invited to apply for the visa. The applicant must meet criteria related to the length of time they have had an ownership stake in one or two businesses with turnover of at least AU$500,000 (about US$342,000) per year, and must have personal and business assets of at least AU$800,000 (about US$547,500) (alone, together with their partner, or their partner alone). Applicants must have a successful business career, be under 55 years of age, not be involved in unacceptable activities, have functional English, and meet the health and character requirements.[31] He or she must also score at least 65 on the special points test for this visa, which is outlined below.

The eligibility criteria for an Investor stream visa include a state or territory nomination; owning and managing business and personal assets above certain thresholds, including having assets of at least AU$2.25 million (about US$1.54 million) and intending to make a designated investment of at least AU$1.5 million in the nominating state or territory; having at least three years’ experience managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments; intending to live in the relevant state or territory; being under 55 years of age; not having a history of involvement in unacceptable activity; having functional English; and meeting the health and character requirements.[32] As for the Business Innovation stream, applicants under the Investor stream must also score at least 65 on the points test.

The fee for applying for a subclass 188 visa in either of the two streams starts at AU$5,375 (about US$3,680). Additional fees apply for including family members in the application, with a further additional charge payable for any applicant 18 years of age or older who has less than functional English.[33]

2. Points Test

Points are awarded based on age, English-language qualifications, educational qualifications, business experience (Business Innovation stream) or investor experience (Investor stream), financial assets, business turnover, business innovation, and a determination by a state or territory government agency that the business proposed by the applicant is “of unique and important benefit” to the relevant jurisdiction.[34]

3. Bringing Family Members

Applicants for a subclass 188 visa may include members of the family unit in their application. Family members must meet the standard health and character requirements.[35] In addition, family members who are not included in the original application can apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Subsequent Entrant) visa in order to join the visa holder.[36]

B. Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

1. General

The subclass 189 visa allows holders to stay in Australia indefinitely; holders are considered to be Australian permanent residents.[37]

A person must be invited to apply for the visa following his or her submission of an EOI. For the points-tested stream, as part of the EOI process, a person will be given an indicative points score. This score must be greater than 65 in order for the person to be invited to apply for the visa. The subsequent application must include evidence supporting the claims made as part of the points test.[38]

In order to be eligible for this visa, applicants must have an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list[39] and submit a suitable skills assessment for the occupation from a skill assessing authority.[40] They must also be under 45 years of age, have at least competent English, and meet the health and character requirements.

The fee for applying for this visa starts at AU$4,045 (about US$2,770). There are additional fees for each family member included in the application, with a further charge added if any family member 18 years of age or older has less than functional English.[41]

2. Points Test

Points are awarded based on a person’s age, English language skills, skilled employment experience within and outside Australia, educational qualifications, study or a “professional year” in Australia, study in regional Australia, holding a qualification in a credentialed community language, and partner skills (including points for being single or having a partner who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident).[42]

3. Bringing Family Members

The main applicant for a subclass 189 visa may include members of his or her family unit in the application. Each family member must meet the health and character requirements.[43] In addition, as an Australian permanent resident, holders of this visa may be able to sponsor eligible family to come to Australia.[44]

C. Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)

1. General

This visa is similar to the subclass 189 visa in terms of eligibility requirements and the status of holders, but has the additional requirement of being nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency following a person’s submission of an EOI.[45] As with the subclass 189 visa, an EOI can only be selected if it shows an indicative score of at least 65 in the points test.[46] The fees for this visa are the same as those for the subclass 189 visa.

2. Points

The points test for the subclass 190 visa is the same as that for the subclass 189 visa, but with an additional five points awarded during the application process for the required nomination by a state or territory government agency.[47]

3. Bringing Family Members

As with the subclass 189 visa, the main applicant for a subclass 190 visa may include members of his or her family unit in the application and holders of this visa may be able to sponsor relatives to come to Australia.[48]

D. Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491)

1. General

The subclass 491 visa is a new visa that opened for applications in November 2019.[49] It allows holders to live, work, and study in a designated regional area of Australia for five years.[50] It also provides holders with a pathway to permanent residence in Australia, provided they can show that they have lived and worked in regional Australia while holding the visa. They can then apply for a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191), which will be available starting November 2022.[51]

The eligibility criteria for this visa are similar to subclass 189 and 190 visas in terms of skilled occupations and assessments, age (45 or under), English language skills, and obtaining over 65 points on the points test.[52] In order to be invited to apply for a subclass 491 visa, a person must either be nominated by a state or territory government agency following the submission of an EOI, or be sponsored by an eligible relative. A sponsor must be

  • 18 years old or older
  • usually resident in a designated area of Australia
  • be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
  • be your or your partner’s eligible relative[53]

Eligible relatives include

  • a parent
  • a child or step-child
  • a brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, step-brother or step-sister
  • an aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle, step-aunt or step-uncle
  • a nephew, niece, adoptive nephew, adoptive niece, step-nephew or step-niece
  • a grandparent, or
  • a first cousin[54]

If a person indicates on his or her EOI that he or she will be sponsored by an eligible relative, the Department of Home Affairs may invite the person to apply for the visa. The Department must approve the sponsorship before a visa can be granted.[55]

The fees for this visa are the same as those for the subclass 189 visa.

2. Points Test

The points test for the subclass 491 visa is essentially the same as for the subclass 190 visa. However, additional points (15, rather than 5) are awarded for either a nomination by a state or territory government agency, or sponsorship by a family member.[56]

3. Bringing Family Members

An applicant for a subclass 491 visa may include members of his or her family unit in the application.[57] In addition, a member of the family unit of a subclass 491 visa holder may apply for the visa as a “subsequent entrant” and include additional family unit members in his or her application.[58] Such family members do not need to submit an EOI or pass the points test.[59] A subsequent entrant visa will be valid until the original holder’s visa ends. Subsequent entrants are also able to qualify for a subclass 191 permanent resident visa.[60]

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III. Visas for Family Members

In addition to the ability of skilled and business/investor visa applicants to include family members in their applications, and for family members of provisional visa holders to subsequently obtain the same visa, there are a range of separate visas available to family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Australian citizens and holders of a permanent resident visa (such as subclass 189, 190, 191, and 888 visas) may, for example, sponsor the following family members for visas under various subclasses (some of which depend on whether the family member is inside or outside Australia at the time the application is made):[61]

  • A partner for a provisional visa and permanent visa (subclasses 100, 309, 801 and 820)[62]
  • An “Aged Dependent Relative” for a permanent visa (subclasses 114 and 838)[63]
  • A “Remaining Relative”(subclasses 115 and 835)[64] or “Orphan Relative” (subclasses 117 and 837)[65] for a permanent visa
  • A family member for a permanent Carer visa (subclasses 116 and 836)[66]
  • A parent or aged parent (subclasses 103 and 804),[67] or a “contributory” parent or aged parent (subclasses 143 and 864),[68] for a permanent visa
  • A contributory parent for a temporary visa to enable him or her to live in Australia for two years (subclasses 173 and 884),[69] or a parent to live in Australia for three to five years (extendable up to 10 years) if certain sponsorship criteria are met (subclass 870)[70]
  • A dependent child (subclasses 101 and 802)[71] or adopted child (subclass 102)[72] for a permanent visa

The Department of Home Affairs indicates that the Aged Dependent Relative (subclasses 144 and 838) and Remaining Relative (subclasses 115 and 835) visas have long wait times of up to 50 years. The Parent visa (subclass 103) has wait times of up to 30 years, while the Aged Parent visa (subclass 804) has “long waiting times.”[73]

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Appendix I:  Points Test for Subclass 188 Visa

Part 7A.2—Age qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant was ...

Number of points

7A21

not less than 18 and under 25

20

7A22

not less than 25 and under 33

30

7A23

not less than 33 and under 40

25

7A24

not less than 40 and under 45

20

7A25

not less than 45 and under 55

15

Part 7A.3—English language qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant had ...

Number of points

7A31

vocational English

5

7A32

proficient English

10

Note: Points are accumulated under item 7A31 or 7A32, not both.

Part 7A.4—Educational qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant had ...

Number of points

7A41

met the requirements for:

(a) the award of a trade qualification, diploma or bachelor degree by an Australian educational institution; or

(b) the award of a bachelor qualification by an educational institution that is of a recognised standard

5

7A42

met the requirements for:

(a) the award of a bachelor degree in business, science or technology by an Australian educational institution; or

(b) the award of a bachelor qualification in business, science or technology by an educational institution that is of a recognised standard

10

Note: Points are accumulated under item 7A41 or 7A42, not both.

Part 7A.5—Business experience qualifications—Business Innovation stream only

Item

The applicant has held one or more main businesses for ...

Number of points

7A51

not less than 4 years in the 5 years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

10

7A52

not less than 7 years in the 8 years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

15

Note: Points are accumulated under item 7A51 or 7A52, not both.

Part 7A.6—Investor experience qualifications—Investor stream only

Item

The applicant ...

Number of points

7A61

held eligible investments which had a value of not less than AUD100 000 for not less than 4 years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

10

7A62

held eligible investments which had a value of not less than AUD100 000 for not less than 7 years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

15

Note: Points are accumulated under item 7A61 or 7A62, not both.

Part 7A.7—Financial asset qualifications

Item

The net value of the business and personal assets of the applicant, the applicant’s spouse or de facto partner, or the applicant and his or her spouse or de facto partner together, was ...

Number of points

7A71

not less than AUD800 000 in each of the 2 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

5

7A72

not less than AUD1 300 000 in each of the 2 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

15

7A73

not less than AUD1 800 000 in each of the 2 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

25

7A74

not less than AUD2 250 000 in each of the 2 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

35

Note: Points are accumulated under one item in Part 7A.7, not more than one.

Part 7A.8—Business turnover qualifications

Item

The applicant had an ownership interest in one or more main businesses that had an annual turnover of ...

Number of points

7A81

not less than AUD500 000 in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

5

7A82

not less than AUD1 000 000 in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

15

7A83

not less than AUD1 500 000 in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

25

7A84

not less than AUD2 000 000 in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

35

Note: Points are accumulated under one item in Part 7A.8, not more than one.

Part 7A.9—Business innovation qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa ...

Number of points

7A91

the applicant, or a main business of the applicant, had either or both of the following:

(a) one or more patents that:

(i) were registered not less than 1 year before that time; and

(ii) were used in the day to day activities of the main business;

(b) one or more registered designs that:

(i) were registered not less than 1 year before that time; and

(ii) were used in the day to day activities of the main business

15

7A92

the applicant, or a main business of the applicant, had one or more registered trade marks that:

(a) were registered not less than 1 year before that time; and

(b) were used in the day to day activities of the main business

10

7A93

each of the following applied:

(a) at least one main business in which the applicant held an ownership interest operated in accordance with a formal joint venture agreement entered into with another business or businesses;

(b) the joint venture agreement had been entered into not less than 1 year before the time of invitation to apply for the visa;

(c) the applicant utilised his or her skills in actively participating at a senior level in the day to day management of the business

5

7A94

at least one main business held by the applicant derived not less than 50% of its annual turnover from export trade in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before that time

15

7A95

the applicant had an ownership interest in at least one main business that:

(a) was established not more than 5 years before that time; and

(b) had an average annualised growth in turnover that was greater than 20% per annum over 3 continuous fiscal years; and

(c) in at least one of the 3 fiscal years mentioned in paragraph (b) employed 10 or more employees for a total number of hours that was at least the total number of hours that would have been worked by 10 full‑time employees

10

7A96

the applicant, or at least one main business in which the applicant held an ownership interest:

(a) had received a grant that:

(i) was awarded for the purposes of early phase start up of a business, product commercialisation, business development or business expansion; and

(ii) was at least AUD10 000; and

(iii) was awarded by a government body in the applicant’s home country; and

(iv) had been received not more than 4 years immediately before that time; or

(b) had received venture capital funding of at least AUD100 000 not more than 4 years before the time of the invitation for the purposes of early phase start up of a business, product commercialisation, business development or business expansion

10

Note: Points may be accumulated under more than one item in Part 7A.9, but points may not be accumulated more than once for each item in the Part.

Part 7A.10—Special endorsement qualifications

Item

At the time of the invitation to apply for the visa ...

Number of points

7A101

the nominating State or Territory government agency had determined that the business proposed by the applicant was of unique and important benefit to the State or Territory where the nominating government agency is located

10

Source: Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) (Vol. 3) sch 7A (Business innovation and investment points test—attributes and points (Business Skills (Provisional) (Class EB) visas)), https://perma.cc/H6C8-72KD.

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Appendix II: Points Test for Subclass 189, 190, and 491 Visas

Part 6D.1—Age qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant’s age was ...

Number of points

6D11

not less than 18 and under 25

25

6D12

not less than 25 and under 33

30

6D13

not less than 33 and under 40

25

6D14

not less than 40 and under 45

15

Part 6D.2—English language qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant had ...

Number of points

6D21

superior English

20

6D22

proficient English

10

Part 6D.3—Overseas employment experience qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant ...

Number of points

6D31

had been employed outside Australia in:

(a) the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation; or

(b) a closely related skilled occupation;

for a period totalling at least 36 months in the 10 years immediately before that time

5

6D32

had been employed outside Australia in:

(a) the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation; or

(b) a closely related skilled occupation;

for a period totalling at least 60 months in the 10 years immediately before that time

10

6D33

had been employed outside Australia in:

(a) the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation; or

(b) a closely related skilled occupation;

for a period totalling at least 96 months in the 10 years immediately before that time

15

Part 6D.4—Australian employment experience qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant ...

Number of points

6D41

had been employed in Australia in:

(a) the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation; or

(b) a closely related skilled occupation;

for a period totalling at least 12 months in the 10 years immediately before that time

5

6D42

had been employed in Australia in:

(a) the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation; or

(b) a closely related skilled occupation;

for a period totalling at least 36 months in the 10 years immediately before that time

10

6D43

had been employed in Australia in:

(a) the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation; or

(b) a closely related skilled occupation;

for a period totalling at least 60 months in the 10 years immediately before that time

15

6D44

had been employed in Australia in:

(a) the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation; or

(b) a closely related skilled occupation;

for a period totalling at least 96 months in the 10 years immediately before that time

20

Part 6D.5—Aggregating points for employment experience qualifications

6D51   

(1) If an applicant has a qualification mentioned in Part 6D.3 and a qualification mentioned in Part 6D.4, and the combined number of points that would be awarded under those Parts for the qualifications is more than 20 points:

  • (a)  the Minister must give the applicant 20 points under this Part for the qualifications; and
  • (b)  no points are given under Part 6D.3 or 6D.4.

(2)  The prescribed number of points for the combination of qualifications is 20.

Part 6D.6—Australian professional year qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant had completed ...

Number of points

6D61

a professional year in Australia in:

(a) the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation; or

(b) a closely related skilled occupation;

for a period totalling at least 12 months in the 48 months immediately before that time

5

Part 6D.7—Educational qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant had ...

Number of points

6D71

met the requirements for:

(a) the award of a doctorate by an Australian educational institution; or

(b) the award of a doctorate, by another educational institution, that is of a recognised standard

20

6D72

met the requirements for:

(a) the award of at least a bachelor degree by an Australian educational institution; or

(b) the award of at least a bachelor qualification, by another educational institution, that is of a recognised standard

15

6D73

met the requirements for the award of a diploma by an Australian educational institution

10

6D74

met the requirements for the award of a trade qualification by an Australian educational institution

10

6D75

attained a qualification or award recognised by the relevant assessing authority for the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation as being suitable for the occupation

10

Part 6D.7A—Specialist educational qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa …

Number of points

6D7A1

the applicant met the requirements for the award of a specialist educational qualification

10

Part 6D.8—Australian study qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa ...

Number of points

6D81

the applicant met the Australian study requirement

5

Part 6D.9—Credentialled community language qualifications

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant had ...

Number of points

6D91

a qualification in a particular language:

(a) awarded or accredited by a body specified by the Minister in an instrument in writing for this item; and

(b) at a standard for the language specified in the instrument

5

Part 6D.10—Study in designated regional area qualification

Item

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa ...

Number of points

6D101

each of the following applied:

(a) the applicant met the Australian study requirement;

(b) the location of the campus or campuses at which that study was undertaken is in a designated regional area;

(c) while the applicant undertook the course of study the applicant lived in a designated regional area;

(d) none of the study undertaken constituted distance education

5

Part 6D.11—Partner qualifications

Item

Qualification

Number of points

6D111

The spouse or de facto partner of the applicant (the primary applicant):

(a) is an applicant for the same subclass of visa as the primary applicant; and

(b) is not an Australian permanent resident or an Australian citizen; and

(c) was under 45 at the time the invitation to apply for the visa was issued to the primary applicant; and

(d) at the time of invitation to apply for the visa, nominated a skilled occupation, being an occupation specified by the Minister under paragraph 1.15I(1)(a) at that time; and

(e) at the time of invitation to apply for the visa, had been assessed by the relevant assessing authority for the nominated skilled occupation as having suitable skills for the occupation and the assessment was not for a Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa; and

(f) at the time of invitation to apply for the visa, had competent English

10

6D112

Either:

(a) the applicant does not have a spouse or de facto partner; or

(b) the applicant has a spouse or de facto partner who is an Australian permanent resident or an Australian citizen

10

6D113

The spouse or de facto partner of the applicant (the primary applicant):

(a) is an applicant for the same subclass of visa as the primary applicant; and

(b) is not an Australian permanent resident or an Australian citizen; and

(c) at the time of invitation to apply for the visa, had competent English

5

Part 6D.12—State or Territory nomination qualifications

Item

Qualification

Number of points

6D121

The applicant has been invited to apply for a Subclass 190 (Skilled—Nominated) visa, and the nominating State or Territory government agency has not withdrawn the nomination

5

Part 6D.13—Designated regional area nomination or sponsorship qualifications

Item

Qualification

Number of points

6D131

The applicant has been invited to apply for a Subclass 489 (Skilled—Regional) (Provisional) visa or a Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)) visa, and:

(a) the nominating State or Territory government agency has not withdrawn the nomination; or

(b) if the applicant is sponsored by a family member, the Minister has accepted the sponsorship

15

Source: Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) (Vol. 3) sch 6D (General points test for General Skilled Migration visas mentioned in subregulation 2.26AC(1)), https://perma.cc/H6C8-72KD.

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Prepared by Kelly Buchanan
Foreign Law Specialist
January 2020


[1] Migration Act 1958 (Cth) (Vol. 1), https://perma.cc/2WN8-KHK7

[2] Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) (Vol. 1), https://perma.cc/UL6H-TVQA, (Vol. 2), https://perma.cc/W5TB-KA3T, (Vol. 3), https://perma.cc/H6C8-72KD.

[3] See, e.g., Skilled Migration Program: Legislative Instruments, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/WBR3-FRAA.

[4] Department of Home Affairs, The Administration of the Immigration and Citizenship Program 12 (3rd ed., Oct. 2019), https://perma.cc/37DC-L9K6

[5] Id.

[6] Migration Program Planning Levels, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/L46Q-3DDG.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] See Points Calculator, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/VDH3-8V68. One of the visas listed on the site, the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) (invited pathway), closed for new applications in November 2019 and is therefore not covered in this report. Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489 (Invited Pathway), Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/C5RZ-D8XB; Skilled Migration Program: Recent Changes, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/5HRW-S33U.

[11] Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Business Innovation Stream, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/9WD7-UQT4; Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Investor Stream, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/QL9N-UE7Y.  

[12] Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189): Points-Tested Stream, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/RB7L-S5A2.

[13] Subclass 190: Skilled Nominated Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/DTA3-F43S.

[14] Subclass 491: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa – Main Applicant, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/S8VM-AW2B.

[15] SkillSelect: Make an Expression of Interest, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/RY38-YU4E.

[16] Skillselect, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/WNK8-YFD3.

[17] Id.

[18] Id.

[19] See Meeting Our Requirements: Health, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/FR4K-GTMU.

[20] See Meeting Our Requirements: Character Requirements for Visas, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/C59Q-S5RM.

[21] See Meeting Our Requirements: English Language, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/Y6TU-TPUT.

[22] See Meeting Our Requirements: Australian Values, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/5P57-3QYP.

[23] Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) (Vol. 1) reg 1.12.

[24] See generally Getting a Visa: Visa List – Family and Partner Visas, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/JA9C-L3TW; Bringing a Partner or Family, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/FAG8-KAD3.

[25] Migration Act 1959 (Cth) s 96.

[26] Migration (LIN 19/210: Pool and Pass Marks for General Skilled Migration Visas) Instrument 2019 (Cth) s 6, https://perma.cc/C5TT-G4RG.

[27] Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) sch 2 pt 188.

[28] Migration Regulations 1994 - Specification under Subclauses 188.222(1) and 188.242(1) of Schedule 2 - Points for Business Innovation Stream and Investor Stream of Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa - June 2012, https://perma.cc/L85S-EGW5.

[29] Subclass 188: Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/5LR4-3L6H.See also Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) reg 1202B & sch 2 pt 188.

[30] Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Business Innovation Stream – When You Have This Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/F2Q5-5D6K; Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Investor Stream – When You Have This Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/3WUM-KBCB; Subclass 888: Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/7D25-HN7T.

[31] Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Business Innovation Stream – Eligibility, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/WFK5-AQF4.

[32] Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Investor Stream – Eligibility, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/TP7P-F2RG.

[33] See Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Business Innovation Stream – About This Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/BZG4-VEC2; Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Investor Stream – About This Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/74LS-SEHK

[34] See Points Table for Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188), Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/A7GY-8XSG.

[35] Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Business Innovation Stream – About This Visa, supra note 33; Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Investor Stream – About This Visa, supra note 33.

[36] Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Business Innovation Stream – When You Have This Visa, supra note 30; Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188): Investor Stream – When You Have This Visa, supra note 30.

[37] Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189): Points-Tested Stream – About This Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/8XGZ-CFJZ.

[38] Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189): Points-Tested Stream – Eligibility, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/6MSL-5GMJ. See also Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) (Vols. 1 & 2) sch 1 reg 1137 & sch 2 pt 189.

[39] Skilled Occupation List, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/WN68-X42Q.

[40] Skills Assessment, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/2F32-W3QC.

[41] See Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189): Points-Tested Stream – About This Visa, supra note 37.

[42] Points Table for Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189), Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/DDC6-TXCQ.

[43] Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189): Points-Tested Stream – About This Visa, supra note 37.

[44] Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189): Points-Tested Stream – When You Have This Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/MR8E-V7FS.

[45] Subclass 190: Skilled Nominated Visa – Eligibility, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/8PPV-ZW25. See also Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) (Vol. 1) sch 1 reg 1138.

[46] Subclass 190: Skilled Nominated Visa – Eligibility, supra note 45.

[47] Points Table for Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190), Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/FSU5-QX3K.

[48] Subclass 190: Skilled Nominated Visa – When You Have This Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/HY8M-UML8.

[49] See Regional Migration, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/GW4E-GQXT; Migration Amendment (New Skilled Regional Visas) Regulations 2019 (Cth), https://perma.cc/RZY5-E54T.

[50] Subclass 491: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa – Main Applicant, supra note 14.

[51] Subclass 491: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa – Main Applicant – When You Have This Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/X7RH-623X; Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional Visa) Visa (Subclass 191), Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/EY5N-6Y8A.

[52] Subclass 491: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa – Main Applicant – Eligibility, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/PP5S-RXPK.

[53] Id.

[54] Id.

[55] Id.

[56] Points Table for Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491), Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/L5ZU-VU8W.

[57] Subclass 491: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa – Main Applicant – About This Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/P9Z8-CZJR.

[58] Subclass 491: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa – Subsequent Entrant – About This Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/572M-6TW8.

[59] Subclass 491: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa – Subsequent Entrant – Eligibility, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/9K89-W87Z.

[60] Subclass 491: Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa – Subsequent Entrant – When You Have This Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/3DFW-HCC5.

[61] See generally Getting a Visa: Visa List – Family and Partner Visas, supra note 24.

[62] Subclasses 309 and 100: Partner Visa (Apply Overseas), Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/7QPX-8RCW; Subclasses 820 and 801: Partner Visa (Apply in Australia), Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/H799-TRVK.

[63] Subclass 114: Aged Dependent Relative Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/A8RV-493Q; Subclass 838: Aged Dependent Relative Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/YQ6A-GS6F.

[64] Subclass 115: Remaining Relative Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/Z8VD-VC9P; Subclass 835: Remaining Relative Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/7TEX-D63T.

[65] Subclass 117: Orphan Relative Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/3QWD-DAEF; Subclass 837: Orphan Relative Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/4GX5-CKPW.

[66] Subclass 116: Carer Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/5ZCL-6NN8; Subclass 836: Carer Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/5FKT-2ZMN.

[67] Subclass 103: Parent Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/YKZ7-S7N3; Subclass 804: Aged Parent Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/T3PF-ZFZF.

[68] Subclass 143: Contributory Parent Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/QPS9-H4PS; Subclass 864: Contributory Aged Parent Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/34K9-B7ZR.

[69] Subclass 173: Contributory Parent (Temporary) Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/AY2X-LHDQ; Subclass 884: Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/N8YQ-3BR4.

[70] Subclass 870: Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/888Q-D8SN.

[71] Subclass 101: Child Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/D5JR-YUFF; Subclass 802: Child Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/5YB3-H6Z2.

[72] Subclass 102: Adoption Visa, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/JSV7-BKMT.

[73] Explore Visa Options for Joining Family in Australia, Department of Home Affairs, https://perma.cc/NN4X-376T (click link for “37 visa(s)”).

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Last Updated: 02/25/2020