Thinking of applying for a points tested visa such as the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189), Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) or Skilled Regional visa (subclass 489)? Looking to claim more points? You might be able to if you have experience working in an occupation that is closely related to your nominated occupation. But ‘closely related’ is a relative term; it is important to know what ‘closely related’ means to the Department of Home Affairs. But there’s more, here are our tips to maximise the points you can claim:

  • You have to nominate an occupation that is on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) but you can claim work experience points in a closely related occupation that is on either the MLTSSL or Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
  • Or did you use to work in your nominated occupation but have climbed the ladder and have been working in an elevated position that doesn’t exist on the lists? Your work experience will still count
  • Medical practitioners are also given more relaxed terms around claiming skilled employment points; the rule that work experience can only be counted after meeting a certain proficiency level does not apply to them

Bear in mind that when claiming skilled employment points, a maximum of 20 points can be claimed. This may be from a combination of work experience in and out of Australia in a closely related occupation. Points can only be claimed from relevant experience in the last 10 years before the time of application.

FInd: Points test

FInd: Occupation lists

Read: Claiming skilled employment points on the points test


What is a closely related occupation?

How is this determined? Generally all occupations within the same ‘unit group’ are considered to be closely related. The unit group for your occupation can be easily recognised from the first 4 digits in the ANZSCO code for your nominated occupation. For example, the following occupations fall under unit group 2621 Database and Systems Administrators, and ICT Security Specialists

If you have nominated the occupation of ICT Security Specialist [262112] which is on the MLTSSL, but have work experience as a Systems Administrator [262113] or Database Administrator [ 262111], both of which are on the STSOL, you would be able to claim skilled employment points as your occupation would be considered closely related.

Don’t forget that to claim skilled employment points you must have performed duties that are similar to those described in ANZSCO and at the appropriate skill level.

For example if you were claiming work experience as a Systems Administrator [262113] your role must have involved responsibilities as follows

If your role did not require a skill level as above and you were perhaps only doing doing paperwork surrounding system administration, you would not be able to claim skilled employment points for that job.


Career advancement

What if you are heavily experienced and your job title has warped fairly over the years? You might have started off as an Accountant (General) [221111] and have now progressed up the ladder into a position such as Chief Accountant, Chief Finance Officer or Chief Executive Officer? These roles do not exist on the occupation lists but your work experience can still be counted. Being awesome at what you do has it rewards.

If you can clearly evidence your career advancement from your nominated occupation to your recent years as upper management, then your experience still counts as it demonstrates that you are highly skilled in your role and have been able to taken on greater responsibilities.


Medical practitioners

Work as a medical practitioner that is undertaken by doctors in their internship year can count towards skilled employment points. Further to this, work as a medical practitioner undertaken by doctors with conditional registration can also be counted. Conditional registration may be given to doctors employed in Australian hospitals and medical practices on a Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 visa.

Why so? Generally work experience can only be claimed from the point at which one is ‘deemed skilled’ or performing at the required level reflected in the ANZSCO definition for your occupation. In most roles, this comes after one has been working for awhile. Doctors go through extensive and intensive training prior to entering the workforce due to the nature and responsibilities of their occupation.

There you go. Claiming skilled employment points may not quite as difficult or rigid as you might have previously though. Share this with someone who needs it!