Professional Year Program for Skilled Visas

Professional Year Program for Skilled Visas

The Professional Year Program is specifically designed for international students who have graduated from university in Australia and are seeking a pathway to Australian employment and residency. It is a program approved by the Department of Home Affairs with the goal of developing the attractive professional skillsets in their respective occupations. It involves formal learning and workplace experience in Australian industries where the demand for skilled graduates is considered high, including accounting, computer sciences and engineering. 


What are the benefits of a Professional Year Program?

Schedule 6D61 of the Migration Regulations 1994 (“the Regulations”) states that to be awarded five (5) points at the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant had to have completed a professional year in Australia for a total period of 12 months within the 48-month period prior to being invited.


What is the relevant 48 month period for a Professional Year Program?

The Department has confirmed that in order to be awarded five (5) points for completing a professional year, you must have started and completed with course within the relevant 48-month period. The Department has taken the view that the term ‘completed’ is more than just the end of the program, and is referring to all parts or elements of the course. Therefore, in the 48 months prior to your receipt of an invitation to apply, you must have both started and finished the relevant 12 months constituting your professional year. 


Legislative Framework for the Skilled Visa Points Test 

Section 93 of the Migration Act 1958 (“the Act”) sets out the process for the determination of an applicant’s score. Section 93(1) states that the Minister shall make an assessment by giving the applicant the prescribed number of points for each prescribed qualification that is satisfied in relation to the applicant.

Regulation 2.26AC(1) of the Regulations establishes the prescribed qualifications and number of points for Subclass 189, 190 and 491 visas. 


Points Awarded for a Completed Professional Year 

Part 6D.6 outlines the Australian professional year qualifications required in relation to the general points test for General Skilled Migration visas mentioned in the aforementioned sub-regulation 2.26AC(1). 

Item 6D61 sets out that five (5) points are to be awarded where, at the time of invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant had completed a professional year in Australia in: 

  • The applicant’s nominated skilled occupation; or 
  • A closely related skilled occupation 

For a period totaling at least twelve (12) months in the forty-eight (48) months immediately before that time. 

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