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Skills Assessment – General Advice

When applying for a visa, you may be required to complete a skills assessment. This is to evaluate your performance of a particular skill under certain standards and criteria to determine whether your skills satisfy the requirements that would allow you to work in your nominated occupation in Australia. They are generally valid for 3 years* unless otherwise stated on the outcome letter. You can check if your occupation is eligible and on the relevant list for a skilled work visa here.

If your occupation is eligible and you can apply for a skilled work visa, then you must check whether your specific visa will require you to complete a skills assessment. Find out if your visa will require a skills assessment here.

In the case that you are asked to provide a skills assessment, you must apply to the relevant skills assessing authority authorised to carry out an assessment of your skills for your occupation. A list of skills assessment authorities can be found here.

Who needs a skills assessment?

You may need a skills assessment if you are applying for:

  • Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa,
  • Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa,
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa,
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) and
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa will also require a skills assessment under the Direct Entry stream and _may _require it under the Temporary Residence Transition stream.
  • Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa will only require a skills assessment for certain occupations unless the applicant is exempt under legislation and also it is still within the discretion of the Department of Home Affairs to request for an assessment even if the occupation has not specified it.

While each visa requires different conditions to be met when obtaining a skills assessment, there are some general steps you can take to ensure you are meeting all requirements:

  • Check that you need a mandatory skills assessment or are eligible for an exemption
  • Provide evidence of any exemption if you are eligible
  • Ensure your skills assessment is being performed by a relevant and accepted authority
  • Ensure your skills assessment is valid at the time of invitation and application or when submitting your Expression of Interest (EOI). Please note, the date of validity may differ for each type of visa application
  • Include the skills assessment reference number to avoid processing delays

Please note that as part of the application process, the Department may ask for a skills assessment, even where it is not mandatory.

Skills assessment requirements differ for each visa and job position and we recommend contacting us directly to ensure you are meeting all requirements for your particular visa application.

What do you require for a skills assessment?

Organising your skills assessment should be done well in advance before applying for your visa, as it may take more than a few months for an outcome. To obtain a positive outcome, there are different requirements depending on the nominated occupations and its corresponding assessing authority, such as:

  • Number of years of work experience
  • Duties and tasks undertaken in previous employment
  • Skill levels demonstrated
  • Level of qualifications obtained

Additionally, each authority may have varying processing times and fees for their skill assessment services, so ensure that you have researched carefully before undertaking your assessment.

The assessor will determine whether your skills are satisfactory for your nominated occupation. If you receive a negative assessment outcome, you will not be able to apply for visas that require skills assessment. There may be options to review, appeal or apply for a new skills assessment with the relevant authority, however that may depend on the assessing authority itself, the nominated occupation, and your personal circumstances and situation.

General documents required for a skills assessment

The documents required will differ depending on the visa, skills assessment authority and occupation you are applying for, however a starting guide to the documents usually required is listed here:

  • Colour passport sized photo
  • Passport
  • Change of name (if applicable)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)/Resume
  • Education
  • Qualifications
  • Employment references
  • Payment evidence
  • Organisational chart
  • Supplementary employment evidence (if applicable)

This list should not be used as an exhaustive set of criteria for which to base your skills assessment on and you should always refer to your migration agent for a full and extensive list of documents required for your specific skills assessment as required for your particular occupation and visa application.

Once you have provided sufficient and appropriate evidence for the first stage of the skills assessment, you may then be required to complete a practical assessment and/or a technical interview depending on your occupation and visa application requirements.

* It is important to keep in mind that skills assessment outcomes are subject to expiry periods and cannot be used for your visa application after the date of expiry.

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