Are you having trouble understanding the different visa skills assessment? With so many assessing authorities, it’s no wonder that confusion can arise when considering which one is right for your chosen occupation.
We know applying for a visa and all its requirements can be daunting – we want to provide clear information in the simplest way possible.
Check out our blog right away to learn more about how procedures, timeframes, and charges vary across these different lists and what this means for your visa application.
Skills assessments are issued by the relevant visa skills assessing authorities, who check that your skills meet their set standards for working in a certain occupation. The combined list of eligible skilled occupations outlines all applicable occupations across four different occupation lists, each of which has its own specific assessing authority. if you want to get a valid visa skills assessment for your visa application you must contact the relevant authority for your occupation. Each assessing authority will have its own procedures, timeframes, and charges for this process.
Obtaining a suitable skills assessment is mandatory when applying for certain visa subclasses and streams, while others may require it should you meet the criteria. Carefully read all the available information on the visa you are applying for to determine if a skills assessment is necessary and when it needs to be obtained.
General Skilled Migration(GSM) Visas
Applicants of the Skilled Regional (Subclass 190) Visa and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) must have an occupation included on the relevant skilled occupations list if they want to apply for a points-tested visa. This means they will need to demonstrate their qualifications and skills to meet the Visa Skill Assessment for their nominated occupation. For this, applicants need to provide proof that they are qualified and experienced in the specific role they have listed on their visa application.
Importance of Visa Skill Assessment for Points-Tested Visas
With the correct documentation, applicants can prove that they possess the necessary qualifications, experience, and English language proficiency required for their chosen position. This Visa Skill Assessment is essential for applicants hoping to be granted a points-tested Visa. If they want their application to be submitted successfully, they must provide skill assessment evidence for their occupation. The skills assessment must be obtained before they are invited to apply, and must remain valid at the time of invitation.
Skills Assessments for Points-tested Visa Applications
In light of the ruling in Thapa v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs (2021) FCCA 686, officers from the Australian Home Affairs Department are now authorized to accept a pertinent skills appraisal that has been obtained within sixty days of an invitation. This decision grants representatives of the Department increased latitude when considering visa skill assessments.
Understanding the Validity and requirements of Visa Skills Assessment
The life span of Visa skill assessments is determined differently based on the state where it is issued. In cases where no expiry date is shown on the Visa skill assessment, it will remain valid for a period of three years from its issuance. If the validity of the Visa skill assessment is below three years, then it will be accepted according to the term specified in the assessment. Where applicable Visa skill assessments have a validity period of more than three years, then the period will be limited to three years from its date of issue.
Before submitting the expression of interest(EOI) in skill select applicants should arrange their skill assessment. skill assessment that has been given after the invitation will not count.
Visa Skills Assessment of Doctors
For doctors, who have full registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), this type of skill assessment will be accepted. Acceptable documentation includes a certificate of full/unconditional/general medical registration or a certificate of conditional specialist registration which only allows you to practice your particular specialty without additional training or supervision requirements.
Visa Skills Assessment of Solicitors
An acceptable Visa skill assessment for solicitors is evidence of admission to practice in the relevant State/Territory. This needs to be provided along with any other requirements for Visa application.
Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
A skill assessment may be required for you if you are looking to apply for the Employer Nomination Scheme(subclass 186) visa. the requirement will depend on the type of visa you are applying for.A skill assessment will not be mandatory if you are applying for Temporary Residence Transition Stream or Labour Agreement Stream. visa assessment is compulsory at the time when you are applying for a visa application but the decision maker can ask for your visa skills assessment.
If you are applying under the Direct Entry Stream, a visa skills assessment is necessary and must be obtained from an authority specified in the Combined List of Eligible Skilled Occupations.The skills assessment should show that you possess the required level of skill for the stated occupation and must have been conducted before you submit the Visa application. Some skills assessments specify an expiry date and are only valid until this point, whilst others will remain valid for a period of three years from the assessment date.
Additionally, applicants must have been employed in the applicable occupation on a full-time basis for at least three years. skill assessment of a temporary graduate visa(Subclass 485) cannot be replaced with the skill assessment of a subclass 186 visa.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187)
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) requires applicants under the Temporary Residence Transition stream to obtain a skills assessment if requested by a decision maker. Those applying under the Direct Entry stream must have a positive visa skills assessment for certain occupations, which are listed on IMMI 12/096 Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities. This assessment must demonstrate that a visa applicant has the skills to work in the nominated occupation and is usually issued by the relevant visa skills assessment authority.
Understanding Visa Skill Assessments for Points-tested Visas
It is important to note that some skills assessing authorities issue assessments with an expiry date, meaning it loses their validity after this date. On the other hand, those without an expiry date are valid for 3 years from the date of the assessment. Secondly, Applicants who are without an expiry date from the date of assessment are valid for 3 years. When applying for subclass 187 visas then the skill assessment that was obtained for a temporary graduate visa is not valid.
Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)
When applying for a Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (subclass 482), certain primary applicants are required to take part in a mandatory skills assessment as part of their visa application. During the submission process, follow these steps: As a part of the Temporary skill shortage visa (subclass 482), some applicants will take part in a mandatory visa skills assessment.
During the submission process, these are the following steps:
- Check whether a mandatory skills assessment is necessary or if you are eligible for an exemption
- Beginning or completing a skills assessment that is no older than three years, prior to submitting your visa application
- Including the reference number for the skills assessment in order to avoid any processing delays
- Providing evidence of any exemption if you are eligible
Take note that even when it is not mandatory, we may require you to have a skills assessment as part of the application process. You will be asked in writing if this happens.
Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)
For applicants of the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) — graduate work stream, it is required that the nominated occupation be present on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Each occupation on this list has corresponding skills assessing authority and any assessment must come from this source. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact the relevant assessing authority and make arrangements for a visa skills assessment, as each authority may have different procedures, timeframes, and fees.
Important Requirements and Considerations
Evidence of having applied for a Visa Skills Assessment must be provided when filing an application or it will not be accepted. Depending on the assessing authority in question, they may issue assessments that are only valid for set periods of time.
Applicants should check that their Visa Skills Assessment has not expired by the time a decision is made on the application, or if there is no set period of validity they must obtain an assessment within the last three years. Only applicants in the Graduate Work stream are required to apply for Visa Skill Assessments; those in the Post Study Work stream are exempt.
Step 1: Contact the Assessing Authority
Research and determine which skills assessing authority is correct for your potential occupation. It’s important that you contact the assessing authority well before submitting a Visa application. Each assessing authority will have its own processes, timescales, and fees associated with the assessment of your qualifications and experience. It is important to factor in the time this may take and be aware that it can vary between different authorities.
Step 2: Receive your Visa Skills Assessment Results
Once you have completed the necessary qualifications and/or work experience, it is time to receive your Visa Skill Assessment. With this assessment comes a certified copy that must be included with your Visa application.
Along with the assessment, there is another document that is a certified copy and that certified copy also must be with your application for the visa.
If your Visa Skill Assessment results in a negative outcome, then unfortunately you cannot proceed with your Visa application. Therefore, it is important that you are fully prepared and equipped with all the right qualifications and/or work experience to ensure a positive result in your Visa Skills Assessment. Good luck!
What to do Now?
Migration agents should advise their clients to carefully research the relevant skills assessing authority for their nominated occupation and apply for a visa skills assessment in order to ensure they meet the requirements of the visa. Clients should also be aware that each assessing authority has its own procedures, timeframes, and charges, so it is important to plan ahead and allow sufficient time for the assessment process to be completed before applying for a visa.
Furthermore, it is important that clients provide a scanned certified copy of the suitable skills assessment with their visa application in order to avoid processing delays and ensure they meet the requirements of the visa.
In conclusion, obtaining a suitable visa skills assessment is an important part of the visa application process for certain TSS and Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) visa applicants.
So it falls into applicants responsibility to contact the relevant authority related to applicants occupation and hence they will be able to get their visa skills assessment in 3 years before they have to submit the visa. If you need help with getting a Visa Skills Assessment or have any other queries, please do not hesitate to book a consultation with us. We at The Migration are here to help!
I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.
Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.