The Points Test - An Overview
The points test is contained in schedule 6B of the Migration Regulations and is a means by which points are allocated to applicants for various personal attributes. For general migration purposes, the government favours young (under 45), well qualified people with good language skills and points are weighted in favour of applicants who can demonstrate these attributes
More points are awarded for the skill factor (that is, the applicant's nominated occupation) than any other attribute. In addition, the government publishes a list of occupations which are in high demand. This list is called the Migration Occupation in Demand List ("MODL- , and if an applicant has an occupation which is on this list, further points will be awarded and even more if the applicant has work experience and more again, if there is an offer of a job for the applicant in Australia.
Another list, known as the Critical Skills List, is a list of occupations which are in critical shortage. Persons who have an occupation on this list are eligible for priority processing.
The points test has a pass mark and a pool mark. Neither of these are permanently fixed and can be changed from time to time to adjust to changes in demand for the migration program. It is because the pass mark can change that the pool mark exists as applicants for a subclass 175 or 176 visa who achieve a score less than the pass mark but equal to or greater than the pool mark will automatically have their application put into a reserve list, known as "the pool- for a period of 2 years. If the pass mark is lowered at any time during this period, those applicants in the pool with a market equal to or greater than the new pass mark will then be taken out of the pool and processing of their visa application will continue.
Applicants who are in the pool are eligible for consideration under skill matching.
The pass and pool marks for the various visa categories are set out below and following that is another table showing the points available under the points test.