189 visa points test

The 189 Visa Points Test

What Is It, and How Does It Work?

The 189 visa allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident, and is for workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member, or nominated by a state or territory government.

However, the 189 visa is points tested.

This means that to apply for a 189 visa, you must have enough ‘points.’ But why does this points test exist and how are points calculated?

Why Have A Points Test?

There are a number of reasons why a points test is built in to the requirements for visas like the 189 visa. The points test allows the government to:

  • Award visas to people who have the skills and attributes Australia most needs, and who offer the most economic benefit
  • Create a transparent, fair and consistent selection process
  • Recognise a broad range of skills and characteristics, such as English language ability, qualifications and age range
  • Give all applicants a chance, regardless of occupation (although you must still nominate an occupation on the relevant occupation list).

How Points Are Awarded

You must score enough points to reach the pass mark for the relevant visa. The pass mark for the 189 visa is 65 points.

Points are awarded for:

  • Age
  • English language ability
  • Australian work experience
  • Overseas work experience
  • Recognised qualifications
  • Designated language
  • Partner skills
  • State or territory nomination
  • Designated area sponsorship (if you are sponsored by an Australian relative living in a designated area. Note: this is only available to provisional visa applicants)
  • Regional study

If you are invited to apply for the visa, you must reach the number of points specified in your letter of invitation.

All of the above factors are assessed on their status at the time you are invited to make your application.

Is The 189 Visa The Only Visa With A Points Test

No. The 489 visa and 190 visa also require a points test. These visas also have a pass mark of 65 points.

Am I Eligible?

When the government sends you a letter of invitation, you must have:

  • Nominated an occupation on the SOL list
  • Obtained a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
  • Be under 50 years-of-age
  • Achieved enough points (as specified in your letter of invitation)
  • Have at least competent English

If you’re unsure whether you meet any of the above requirements, contact us now.


If you need further info, we are more than happy to help calculate your points or help you to get additional points where possible. Ready to apply? We’re experts in helping people just like you get their independent visas.

About us

PocketLegal is available to assist with all aspects of the Australian immigration process from beginning to end. If you need help with visa applications, sponsoring staff members, AAT Appeals, Federal Circuit Court hearings, or any other migration related issue then contact our friendly team via the form on this page or by calling 1300 921 114.

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