What is a Skills Assessment?

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This month I will write about one of the first major hurdles applicants face when starting their visa process: obtaining a positive skills assessment.

Whether you wish to apply for a skilled permanent visa, a skilled temporary graduate visa or (some) employer sponsored visas, you will most definitely require a positive skills assessment for your visa application to be successful.

What is a skills assessment?

A skills assessment is a document issued by the relevant skills assessing authority in Australia in which the applicant’s education and/or work experience (skills) are assessed against Australian standards for each particular occupation. The result of a skills assessment is usually identified as positive (suitable for the nominated occupation) or negative (not suitable for the nominated occupation).

Do not make the mistake of thinking that you have a degree or particular qualification and that is your “skills assessment”—it is not! Skills assessments for migration are a separate requirement, which is applied for and assessed by an independent body in Australia.

Why do I need a skills assessment?

As part of the many requirements needed to be granted a skills related visa, the Department of Immigration requires the applicant to provide evidence of his/her skills. For many of these visas, a “formal” skills assessment is required.

Skills assessments are performed by relevant skills assessing authorities in Australia specifically appointed by the Department of Immigration for each occupation. Skills assessments are mandatory for many skills-based visas.

Skills assessing authorities

There are more than 37 different skills assessing authorities in Australia. Each one of these skills assessing authorities has different requirements and assessing guidelines. It is extremely important to be familiar with these requirements and guidelines before lodging an application.

Some skills assessing authorities even have English language requirements of their own (which are often higher than those required for the visa itself). They also have different skills assessment services depending on the visa for which the applicant would like to apply, the occupation and the country of origin. Some skills assessing authorities also delegate their function to other institutions, so the authority assessing your highest qualification could be different from the one assessing your occupation and the list goes on and on. It can get very complex!

Please note that some skills assessing authorities offer very useful services independently from a skills assessment, for example, advisory services (which is something like a “pre” skills assessment) or points test advice, which is used to help evidencing work experience and/or educational qualifications for your visa application.

What can I do?

It is my most sincere recommendation to get professional assistance to lodge an application for a skills assessment as well as to deal with skills assessing authorities. Many applicants have not been able to fulfill their dreams of a new life in Australia because they have not been able to get a positive skills assessment.

It is very important to note that preparing a skills assessment application is often a complex process on its own. Preparation and planning are ESSENTIAL for a positive outcome. In our experience, having a skills assessment application ready to be lodged can take many months of careful consideration.

It is very important to be aware that everything within this process is and will be related to a future visa application, which is something many applicants ignore. The information you provide to your relevant skills assessing authority could and may be shared with the Department of Immigration, and this is where many applications fail due to inconsistencies within the information provided or other more serious issues.

Additionally, if you do not know what you are doing and how things can go wrong, you may be providing information to the assessing authority which not only results in failure, but then is always on your records there and can prevent you from making a successful application in the future. Getting this wrong could ruin your one chance at permanent residence in Australia. Do not leave it to chance—use the services of a migration professional who knows exactly what they are doing.

Would you like help with your skills assessment application?

You can start the process by taking a free online assessment.

I look forward to helping you turn your Australian permanent residence dream into a reality. As a migrant to Australia myself (I am from Mexico and arrived in Australia on a skilled visa), I really understand just how important your visa application is to you.

National Visas’ registered migration agents are skilled, dedicated migration professionals—we’d love to help you achieve your dream.

Regards,

Alfonso Varela
Migration Advisor
MARN: 1278626

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Alfonso Varela

Migration Advisor at National Visas
As a migrant to Australia myself, I really understand just how important your visa application is to you and your family.

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