CLAIMING POINTS FOR WORK EXPERIENCE - Australian Migration agents | Immigration Lawyers in Melbourne & Canberra | Global Vision Migration


When is it appropriate to regard a job to be skilled?

The following factors will be considered when evaluating periods of skilled employment for the purpose of awarding points:

  • the applicable skills assessment authority’s view on the applicant’s duration of skilled employment, including the date on which they regarded him or her skilled; and
  • the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), including any necessary pre-requisite qualifications or work experience; and
  • any additional information that is relevant (such as employment records and references).

If the skills assessment authority’s opinion would result in the application receiving less points than the applicant indicated in their EOI, the department would generally use the information in ANZSCO to determine when the applicant was working at a skilled level.

In making their choice to award points, the department would need to be satisfied with the bona fides of the supporting documents supplied, while taking into account the opinion provided by skills assessment authority.

The requirements only require that an applicant work for a specified period of time in a nominated skilled occupation. The rule does not stipulate that the candidate must have a certain level of expertise during the duration of employment. If a client is claiming employment as a carpenter, the department can consider whether the applicant is performing at least some of the duties prescribed for the position in ANZSCO. For example, if a client is claiming employment as a carpenter, the department can consider whether the tasks they are performing are those of a carpenter.

Factors affecting employment in Australia and abroad

The granting of points for skilled employment variables recognizes the importance of substantial work experience in a nominated skilled occupation or a closely similar skilled occupation in achieving favorable labor market results. For the purpose of awarding points, relevant Australian and foreign skilled employment in the ten years immediately preceding the date the applicant was asked to apply for this visa can be considered.

The value of direct experience and understanding of the Australian work environment in aiding migrants to establish themselves in the Australian labor market and settle into life in Australia is recognized by the increased weighting of points that can be granted for Australian skilled employment.

The accumulated period of relevant employment experience will be evaluated; therefore employment periods do not have to be continuous. As a result, if an applicant’s relevant skilled employment is alternated with periods of non-related employment or other activities such as study, they may be eligible for points.

For example,

if prior to applying for their points tested skilled migration visa an applicant whose nominated skilled occupation is Accountant works for 2 years as an Accountant, then undertakes postgraduate studies for 2 years, then works as an IT consultant for 2 years, then works as an Accountant for a further 3 years, the applicant would be eligible for points based on their 5 years employment 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 points for the employment factor if they have both Australian and overseas skilled employment experience.

As an example,

If an applicant whose nominated skilled occupation is Accountant works for 2 years as an Accountant, then pursues postgraduate studies for 2 years, then works as an IT consultant for 2 years, and then works as an Accountant for a further 3 years, the applicant would be eligible for points based on their 5 years of employment experience.

If an applicant has both Australian and international skilled employment experience, they may be entitled for points in the employment factor.

As an example,

If, prior to applying for a points-tested skilled migration visa, an applicant whose nominated occupation is assessed as a registered nurse works overseas for 5 years as a registered nurse and then works in Australia on a temporary employment visa for 3 years as a registered nurse, the applicant will be eligible for points based on their 5 years of overseas employment as well as their 3 years in Australia on a temporary employment visa.

In order to meet one of the Australian or overseas skilled employment experience elements, candidates cannot combine shorter durations of skilled employment obtained while working in and outside Australia. An candidate cannot, for example, claim 3 years of Australian employment by combining 6 months of abroad employment and 30 months of Australian employment.

What does it mean to be employed?

The term “employed” refers to someone who is “involved in a remunerated occupation for at least 20 hours per week.”


The objective for ‘remuneration’ is that applicants have worked in the occupation for a pay. For the purposes of points-tested skilled migration, mere emotional or psychological gratification or the gain of useful but unpaid professional experience are not deemed “remuneration.” A person who receives limited living allowances or scholarships to help with expenses is not considered remunerated.

At least 20 hours of work per week are remunerated

Working for at least 20 hours per week entails working for a total of 20 hours each week. However, where employment contracts allow for a variable distribution of hours of work beyond a week, such as for some shift workers, “fly in, fly out” workers, and sailors, this can be taken into account when evaluating whether a person has worked “at least 20 hours per week.”

Applicants may be asked to show extensive evidence of their job terms and salary payments in order to support their claims.

Periods of leave

Only periods of leave on full pay may be included as time spent working because employment must be for a payment. That means that extended periods of time off without compensation (such as maternity or paternity leave) may not be counted as work time.

491 Skilled Regional Visa (Provisional)


Professionals in the field of information and communications technology (ICT) who are claiming points for skilled work

What criteria does NSW use to evaluate my skilled employment (190 and 491 visas)?

Only skilled employment after the Australian Computer Society (ACS) has assessed you have met the required skill level in your occupation is eligible for points in NSW.

If you claimed points for skilled work in your Skill Select EOI, you must be able to present an ACS skills assessment that shows the date your job was assessed to be at an adequately skilled level.

You will not be able to claim points for skilled employment for NSW nomination if your ACS skills assessment does not indicate this date.

In your declaration of interest, you should only claim points for skilled employment that begins after this date (EOI). If you are requested to apply for NSW nomination, this will ensure that your application is not rejected due to an excess of points.

After receiving my ACS skills evaluation, I was able to find more skilled work. You do not need to acquire a fresh ACS skills assessment to demonstrate work that occurred after you received your assessment if you have a valid ACS skills assessment that has assessed your skilled employment.

Evidence such as your letter of offer, job contract, pay slips, and employment reference letter documenting the duration of your employment, the hours worked per week, and duties completed can be used to demonstrate your continued skilled employment.

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