Points Test: Common Mistakes | AMVL Migrations
At AMVL, one of the most commonly asked questions is “what points can I claim to receive an invitation for a Skilled visa?”. And quite often, we find that people are attempting to claim points that they are not eligible for. So to cut through the pages and pages of information on the Department’s website, RMA Christel Dajcz has condensed the most common mistakes made by people claiming points.
1. English – The level of English language is taken from the lowest band score in an English test, not the overall score. For example, if you have 7 in 3 of the bands, and 6 in one, then you can only claim ‘Competent’ level English ability. Also, even if you are a ‘native’ English speaker it is not possible to claim points for Proficient or Superior English language ability without completing a formal English test.
2. Employment – There are three things to consider when claiming employment points. Firstly, only employment undertaken after you were deemed qualified can be counted – this is usually after completing your qualification. Secondly, employment must be paid (unpaid internships, work experience or volunteering cannot be counted) and be for at least 20 hours per week. Thirdly, employment must be in your nominated occupation or closely related occupation. ‘Closely related’ is defined as being in the same unit group in ANZSCO (the first four digits of the ANZSCO code), so check this carefully. While the occupations of Chef (3513-11) and Cook (3514-11) appear to be similar, they belong to two different unit groups so the Department sees these as two very different roles.
3. Qualifications – Points are generally awarded for the highest level qualification. However, in the case of an applicant with a Bachelor degree and a Masters degree, 15 points are awarded for the Bachelor degree. Applicants who only hold a Masters degree may be able to claim 10 point for a ‘qualification or award of a recognised standard’ which is usually determined by the skill assessing body.
4. Australian Study – There are two timeframes to take note of when claiming study points. One, the applicant must have been physically studying in Australia for at least 16 calendar months. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), transfer of credits from previous courses, and summer semester studies can have an impact on an applicant’s ability to meet this requirement. Two, the applicant must have completed one or more courses that were registered in CRICOS for a total of at least 92 weeks (two academic years). Taking 2 years to complete a course registered for 1.5 years will not meet this study requirement. Both requirements must be met in order to claim these points.
5. Community Language – Simply being fluent in a second language does not entitle you to points. This requires assessment as a Translator or Interpreter through the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).
6. Professional Year – This is not work experience, an internship, or work placement. A Professional Year is a recognised professional development program conducted in Australia, in the fields of Engineering, Accounting, or Computing.
7. Partner Skills – To claim these points, a spouse or de facto partner needs to be less than 50 years of age (dropping to 45 in July), have a positive skill assessment in an occupation on the same skilled occupation list as the main applicant, and evidence of Competent level English. All three components must be met at the time of invitation.
8. Specialist Educational Qualifications – The newest points are awarded to applicants who have completed a Masters by Research or a PhD in the sciences. The areas of study are set out by the Department, and the course must have this designation in CRICOS to be accepted.
So there you have it. There are so many specific requirements for claiming points, that it can be quite easy to mistakenly claim something you are not entitled to. This can lead to refusal of your visa application – after you have spent a lot of time and money.
Just remember; SkillSelect is a computer-automated system, so you won’t know something is wrong until after you have lodged your visa application and a case officer questions your claims. It is therefore crucial to get your EOI right at the start. The team at AMVL are highly skilled in this visa category and can help you get your application right the first time. If you would like more information, or if you are looking to apply, contact us at [email protected]