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Skill Assessment

Skills assessments are issued by relevant skills assessing authorities. A skills assessing authority is an organisation that checks that your skills meet the standards they set to work in a relevant occupation.

The combined list of eligible skilled occupations sets out all relevant occupations under 4 occupation lists. Most occupations in each list have their own skills assessing authority. We can only accept a skills assessment issued by the relevant assessing authority.

It is your responsibility to contact the relevant assessing authority for your occupation and obtain a skills assessment, if required. Each assessing authority has its own assessment procedures, timeframes and charges.

Obtaining a suitable skills assessment is mandatory for some visa subclasses (and streams) and may be requested for others. You should read all of the available information about the visa you are interested in applying for. This will allow you to determine if you need to submit a skills assessment and when you need to obtain it.

General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas

Applicants for the following points tested GSM visas must have a suitable skills assessment for their nominated occupation: 

  • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) — Points tested stream
  • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
  • Skilled Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489) — Invited Pathway

To be invited to apply for a points tested visa, you must have nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list for that visa subclass. 

When you submit your visa application you will need to provide evidence that you have a suitable skills assessment for your nominated occupation. You must have obtained a skills assessment by the time you are invited to apply.

Your skills assessment must also be valid at the time you are invited to apply for a points tested visa. Validity periods are calculated as follows:

  • If no validity period is shown on a skills assessment, the assessment is valid for 3 years from date of issue,
  • If the validity period shown on a skills assessment is less than 3 years, the assessment is valid for the period stated on the assessment,
  • If the validity period shown on a skills assessment is more than 3 years, the assessment is valid for three years from date of assessment.

You are encouraged to arrange your skills assessment well before you intend to submit your Expression of Interest (EOI). You cannot rely on a skills assessment that was obtained after you were invited to apply.

Skills assessing authorities may issue more than one type of skills assessment. You must have a skills assessment that meets the requirements for permanent migration. The criteria that an assessing authority uses for the different types of skills assessments is determined by them, set against their relevant professional standards.

Some assessing authorities issue a provisional skills assessment for recent graduates of Australian educational institutions, who are applying for a subclass 485 visa. A provisional skills assessment issued for a subclass 485 visa application is not a suitable skills assessment for a points tested visa application.

Doctors

For doctors, evidence of full registration is a suitable skills assessment. We accept one of the following certificates issued by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) as evidence of full registration:

  • full/unconditional/general medical registration
  • conditional specialist registration — this registration allows you to practise only in your particular speciality, with no further training or supervision requirements.

Solicitors

For solicitors, evidence of admission to practice as a lawyer in the relevant Sate/Territory is a suitable skills assessment.

Employer Sponsored visas

Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)

If you apply under the Temporary Residence Transition stream or under the Labour Agreement stream, a skills assessment is not required at time of application. A decision maker can still ask you to obtain a skills assessment if they think this is necessary before deciding your application.

If you apply under the Direct Entry stream, a skills assessment is required. The relevant skills assessing authority for your occupation is indicated in the combined list of eligible skilled occupations.

The skills assessment must clearly show that you have had your skills assessed as suitable by the assessing authority before you make the visa application. Skills assessments can be submitted after the visa application is made but the results of the assessment must have been obtained before the date of your visa application.

Some skills assessing authorities issue skills assessments that show an expiry date. If a skills assessment is provided after the expiry date, the skills assessment will no longer be valid.

Skills assessments that do not specify an expiry date are valid for 3 years from the date of the assessment. If more than 3 years have passed by the time the visa application is made, the skills assessment will no longer be valid.

You must also have been employed in the occupation full-time for at least 3 years, at the level of skill required for the occupation. A skills assessment obtained for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) visa is not a valid skills assessment for the subclass 186 visa.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187)

If you apply under the Temporary Residence Transition stream, a skills assessment is not required at time of application. A decision maker can still ask you to obtain a skills assessment if they think this is necessary before deciding your application.

If you apply under the Direct Entry stream, a skills assessment is required for certain occupations. You must have a positive skills assessment if your occupation is listed on IMMI 12/096 Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities.

The assessment will show us you have the skills to work in the nominated occupation.The relevant skills assessing authority for these occupations is indicated in the combined list of eligible skilled occupations.

The skills assessment must clearly show that you have had your skills assessed as suitable by the assessing authority before you make the visa application. Skills assessments can be submitted after the visa application is made but the results of the assessment must have been obtained before the date of your visa application.

Some skills assessing authorities issue skills assessments that show an expiry date. If a skills assessment is provided after the expiry date, the skills assessment will no longer be valid.

Skills assessments that do not specify an expiry date are valid for 3 years from the date of the assessment. If more than 3 years have passed by the time the visa application is made, the skills assessment will no longer be valid.

You must also have been employed in the occupation full-time for at least 3 years, at the level of skill required for the occupation. A skills assessment obtained for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) visa is not a valid skills assessment for the subclass 187 visa.

Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS)

Certain primary TSS visa applicants must undertake a mandatory skills assessment as part of the visa application process.

The following steps apply, when submitting your visa application:

  • check that you need a mandatory skills assessment or are eligible for an exemption, Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)
  • begin or have completed a skills assessment, within a three year period, before you submit
  • include the skills assessment reference number to avoid processing delays
  • provide evidence of any exemption if you are eligible.

Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)

To be eligible for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) — graduate work stream you must have nominated an occupation that is on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). All occupations on the MLTSSL have a relevant skills assessing authority. We can only accept a skills assessment issued by the relevant assessing authority.

It is your responsibility to contact the relevant assessing authority for your occupation and obtain a skills assessment. Each assessing authority has its own assessment procedures, time-frames and charges.

If your skills are assessed on the basis of a qualification you got in Australia when you held a student visa, the qualification must be from studying a course registered on CRICOS.

You must provide evidence when you apply that you have at least applied for a skills assessment or we cannot process your visa application.

Some assessing authorities only provide assessments that are valid for a set period. It is your responsibility to check that this period has not expired by the time we make a decision. If there is no set period, then you must have obtained the assessment within the last 3 years.

You only need to apply for a skills assessment if you are applying in the Graduate Work stream. Applicants in the Post Study Work stream do not need to obtain a skills assessment to support their application.

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