NOTE. The following article is now out-dated. Prospective emigrants should obtain the latest immigration requirement from the their nearest Australian Embassy or High Commission.

Australia accepts migrants under a number of different categories. For the year ended 30th June 1993, she accepted 80,000 migrants. This is down from 111,000 in the previous year. The 80,000 accepted were split up into the following categories. When each category reached its limit, no further migrants were accepted in that category.

Independent (skilled) 13,000
Preferential family 39,000
Concessional family   6,000
Business migrants   5,000
Employer-nominated migrants   5,000
Refugees   6,000
Remainder (various)   6,000
TOTAL 80,000

This article gives advice to those thinking of applying in the Independent (Skill) class. It gives an outline only. Please note that if you have a relative already living in Australia, it will increase your chances of acceptance if you get him or her to sponsor you. More detailed information regarding migration should be obtained from the Australian Embassy.

It should be noted that if you obtain entry as an Independent migrant, you can bring your spouse and children up to 18 years with you. Health and character checks must be passed by the whole family. When you and your family have been resident for two years in Australia, you may be able to sponsor other members of your extended family as migrants under the Preferential and Concessional Family immigration program.


At the outset, it should be pointed out that, taking into account the present pass mark of 115, certain persons will always fail the Points test. These persons are a) those without a professional or trade certificate which is acceptable in Australia, b) those over the age of 45 years and c) medical practitioners.

The Points test is applied uniformly, on a world-wide basis, by the Australian Immigration authorities. The test is laid down by law. The test is the same the world over whatever the race, colour or creed of the applicant.

The type of person most likely to succeed in the Independent category is someone who is young and skilled. In particular, an experienced trades person or experienced university-educated professional under the age of 34 years stand a very good chance.

Every member of the family migrating must pass health and character checks. If one member of the family fails, then the whole family fails.

The breadwinner, who is usually the husband, must pass the Points test. The test is shown below. To be considered for migration, you must score at least 100 points. At the present time, the Pool Entrance mark is 100 and the Pass mark is 115. These marks can vary from time to time. If you obtain the Pool Entrance mark only, then your application is put into a pool of applicants. New pass marks are set periodically. Your application will be tested against the Pass mark on three subsequent occasions. If your mark exceeds the pass mark on any of these occasions, then you are likely to be successful. If your application has not attained the pass mark on the third occasion, then your application will fail.

If you are a medical practitioner, including a specialist, 25 points will be deducted from your score. This takes account of the fact that Australia is over-supplied with doctors at present.

You will notice that between 50 to 70 points are awarded for possession of a trade certificate, degree or diploma. It is important to note that these must be accepted for practice in Australia. The migration authorities will check this out. For example, you will get 70 points for possession of a trade or professional qualification which is accepted for practice in Australia but you will only get 60 points for possession of a similar qualification which is not acceptable for practice in Australia.

Points are awarded for proficiency in English. In addition, being able to speak and write English fluently is a requirement for certain listed occupations. If your occupation is in this category and you are not fluent in English, then you will not be allowed to migrate. A list of such occupations is available from the Australian Embassy. It includes all those having contact with the public such as all medical personnel, all teaching personnel, certain trades-persons etc.



Trade certificate or degree with at least 3 years post- qualification experience, score 70 points.

Trade certificate or degree without at least 3 years post- qualification experience, score 60 points.

Diploma or Associate diploma with at least 3 years post- qualification experience, score 55 points.

Diploma or Associate diploma without at least 3 years post- qualification experience, score 50 points.

Medical practitioner, deduct 25 points.


Excellent knowledge of spoken English, score 20

Less than excellent knowledge of spoken English, score 15. Able to communicate on everyday, familiar topics, score 10.

Able to handle basic communication in English, score 5.

Familiar with only a few common English words and phrases, score 0.


18 - 29 years, score 30

30 - 34 years, score 25

35 - 39 years, score 15

40 - 44 years, score 10

45 -49 years, score 5

Less than 18 or more than 50, score 0.


The Australian Embassy will provide an application package at a small cost. Complete the application form and send it to the Australian Embassy. You will also have to include a fee of $600 to process your application. If you are accepted, based on the points score, then you and your family will have to provide health and character checks.

If you so wish, you can get a Migration Agent to handle your application. All Migration Agents residing in Australia must now be licensed by the Government.


Mr Van Der Merwe is a qualified accountant working in South Africa. He qualified five years ago. He has a degree. He is aged 27. He is married with two children. All the family are in good health. Mr Van Der Merwe speaks English fluently. His professional qualifications are acceptable for practice in Australia. Mr Van Der Merwe would score 120 on the Points test. This would be 70 points for Skills, 30 points for age and 20 points for proficiency in English. Mr Van Der Merwe's application mark exceeds the Pass mark and his application is likely to be successful

Once Mr Van Der Merwe he and his family have been resident in Australia for two years, they can sponsor other relatives from South Africa. These relatives will have a much easier Points test to pass than Mr Van Der Merwe had. In turn, once these relatives have been in Australia for two years, they, in turn, can sponsor other relatives and so on. This is called "chain migration".

Suzy Brown works as a nurse in England. She is single and aged 26. She has a degree in nursing. She is also likely to score 120 on the Points test and be accepted for migration.

Tom Smith is aged 25 and works as a clerk in the Civil Service in the U.K. He obtained University matriculation before leaving school. However, he has not gone to university or undertaken any further studies since leaving school. He speaks excellent English. Mr Smith will score only 50 on the Points test. He will not be eligible to migrate.

Frank Nhodlovu is 24 and works as a motor mechanic. He has three years post-qualification experience. His qualifications are acceptable in Australia. However, he speaks only his own language with a little broken English. Mr Nhodlovu's score will be 105. He reaches the present Pool mark of 100 and will go into the Pool.

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Copyright 1997.