How are points calculated for Skilled Employment?

There are three main factors considered by The Department of Home Affairs for awarding Work Experience points for skilled employment:

  • the opinion of the relevant Skills Assessing Authority on the period of the skilled employment, which includes the date on which the Authority deemed the applicant as skilled;
  • the alignment with the ANZSCO requirement, including any pre-requisite qualifications/work experience relevant to the claimed skilled employment;
  • any other relevant information (employment records, references, etc)

If the Skills Assessing Authority’s opinion results in the applicant being awarded less points than is claimed in the EOI, then the Department usually considers the information in ANZSCO and applies the more beneficial outcome in the applicant’s favour in determining the total period that he/she was working at a skilled level.

While having regard for the opinion expressed by the Skills Assessing Authorities, the Department also needs to be satisfied with the genuineness of the supporting documents presented by the applicant, before making their decision to award points.

The regulations require only that an applicant is employed in a nominated skilled occupation for a particular period of time, and not for the applicant to have skills of a particular standard during that period of employment. The Department considers whether the applicant is undertaking at least some of the duties prescribed for the applied occupation in ANZSCO – for example, if a client is claiming skilled employment points as an Accountant, the tasks he/she is claiming as per the supporting documents are those of an Accountant and not some other occupation.

How are points calculated for Australian and Overseas Employment?

While awarding points for skilled employment, the Department takes into account the benefits of extensive work experience in a nominated or a closely related skilled occupation. Relevant Australian and Overseas skilled employment during the 10-year period immediately before the date the applicant was invited to apply for this visa is considered by the Department for the purpose of awarding points.

Higher points weightage for Australian skilled employment is given due recognition for the value that first-hand experience and understanding of the Australian work environment can have in assisting migrants to establish themselves in the Australian labour market.

It is not necessary for periods of skilled employment to be continuous – rather it is the aggregated period of relevant employment experience that is considered. Therefore, applicants can be eligible for points, even if their relevant skilled employment is interspersed with periods of non-related employment, study, etc.

For example, if an applicant whose nominated skilled occupation is assessed as an Accountant:

works as an Accountant for 2 years,

then undertakes an MBA degree for 2 years,

then works as an HR consultant for 2 years,

then works again as an Accountant for a further 3 years,

the applicant would be eligible for employment points based on totally 5 years work experience as an Accountant (if the applicant’s relevant employment took place in the 10 years immediately before the time when the applicant was invited to apply for the visa).


Applicants may also be eligible for work experience points if they have both Australian and overseas skilled employment experience.

For example, if an applicant whose nominated occupation is assessed as a Primary School Teacher:

works overseas as a Primary School Teacher for 5 years,

then works in Australia as a Primary School Teacher on a temporary employment visa for 3 years,

the applicant would be eligible for points based on 5 years’ overseas employment as well as 3 years’ Australian employment experience.

However, an applicant cannot combine shorter periods of skilled employment gained while working in and outside Australia in order to meet either the Australian or overseas skilled employment experience factors. For example, an applicant cannot claim 3 years’ Australian employment by adding together 1 year’s overseas employment experience and 2 years’ Australian employment experience.

Employment, Remuneration & Leave periods

Employment is defined to mean “engaged in an occupation for a remuneration for at least 20 hours a week.” However, where employment contracts provide for variable distribution of hours of work that extend beyond a week such as for some shift workers, “fly-in fly-out” workers, seafarers, etc, this is taken into consideration by the Department in determining whether a person has worked “at least 20 hours per week.” In order to support their claims, applicants may be asked to provide further detailed evidence.

For Remuneration, the applicant should have been engaged in the occupation on a paid basis.

As employment must be for remuneration, only periods of leave with full pay is normally counted as time during which an applicant was employed. Periods of extended leave without pay like maternity leave, etc might not be considered by the Department as a period of employment.