Am I eligible?

You can apply the PR by yourself or getting the services from the consulting firm. Either way, it would be a long process and will take up to 1 year or more. Before you decide, here are few steps that you should do. Theses tips are for skilled migration  which is the common visa type for most Malaysian.

Step 1. Self Assessment

First of way, you can assess your eligibility for the PR application. Australia government came up with a straight forward point system to decide your eligibility and it is based on your age, qualification, English proficiency and work experience.  Basically you have to meet at minimum 60 points and there is no interview needed for the application.

You can refer to Skilled Migration Points for the breakdown of the points. You can also  perform an online self test calculator at here.

Most of the factors are clear cut except your qualification and English proficiency. If you are graduated from Australian education, the qualification part would be easy and you have an additional 5 point for that alone. If you are graduated from non-Australian education, you may need to get verification of your skill. For example, I have an engineering degree from University of Malaya and I will need to get my qualification assessed by the Institute of Engineers Australia. This process is costly and time consuming.

Another important factor is your English proficiency which is under-estimated by most applicants.  Since English language ability can give you at least 10 points, it could be a deciding factor for your qualification.

At minimum, you have to be proficient in English to get the 10 points. Below are the various English tests and the minimum mark to achieve the 10 points.

IELTS: 7+ in each component; or
OET: B pass in each component; or
PTE Academic: 65+ in each component; or
Cambridge (CAE): 185+ in each component; or
TOEFL iBT: 24 in Listening, 24 Reading, 27 Writing, 23 Speaking

Step 2. Take your English Test

IELTS is the most common test for Malaysian. In order to get the 10 points, you will need to achieve at least level 7  (0 to 9 scale) for each component (speaking, writing, listening and reading) and I must stress that this is difficult for most people especially on the speaking and writing. The requirement is to get 7 for each component and not on average. I failed my first attempt with 6.5 for speaking, 7 for writing and 8.5 for both reading listening.  Please refer to the IELTS page to get more detail about the test and tips to achieve the score.

If you decide to get service from the immigration consultancy firm, I strongly suggest that you go to take the IELTS test first before signing up their service or pay them any money. I have a terrible experience myself on this part with one of the local firm.

You can sit for the test at IDP Malaysia . The cost of the test is RM795. Before signing up for the test, it is highly recommended to attend the IELTS Workshop organized by IDP. It costs roughly RM450 for the workshop and sometimes there is discount up to 60% for it. Please refer to https://www.idp.com/malaysia/ielts  for the test and workshop.

Step 3. Do it yourself?

Once you have achieved your IELTS test score, you have won the half battle, Now you will decide if you can to proceed the whole application yourself and sign up for consulting service. I have friends that did it themselves and some went to consulting firm. From my experience, the consulting firm does not add value to your qualification. In fact, most of the time you have to prepare all the documents yourself. If you are very busy  and have 10k to spend, go for the service. Otherwise it would not be difficult to do that yourself as you can spread out the process over one or two years.