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Skilled Work Experience Evidencing Under the New Skilled Migration Points Test

The contents of this article are correct as at 17 August 2011.

From 1 July 2011 The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is applying a new points test for the following skilled migration visas:

  • Subclass 175 Skilled – Independent
  • Subclass 176 Skilled – Sponsored
  • Subclass 475 Skilled – Regional Sponsored
  • Subclass 487 Skilled – Regional Sponsored
  • Subclass 885 Skilled – Independent
  • Subclass 886 Skilled – Sponsored

In order to be eligible for one of the above visas, applicants will need to satisfy certain threshold requirements (complete list available here). One of these threshold requirements is that the applicant provide evidence of recent skilled employment in a skilled occupation or have recently completed the Australian Study requirement. Applicants may also rely on a certain period of work experience in Australia or overseas to satisfy the passmark.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship now requires applicants applying for a visa who are relying on skilled work experience to obtain in addition to their skills assessment, an opinion from their skills assessing authority, confirming that the work they have performed is at the requisite skill level. DIAC policy states that, if the relevant assessing authority does not provide an opinion for specific periods of skilled employment, case officers should regard that the assessing authority has not found that any employment claims were at the skilled level for these periods. It would then be for the case officer to consider such claims by the applicant against the evidence presented. This indicates that if an applicant does not have its skilled work experience ‘certified’ by an assessing authority, there is a considerable risk that the experience will not be accepted as such by DIAC.

As this change in DIAC’s approach is very recent it remains to be seen how case officers will approach the processing of applicants reliant on work experience, who have not obtained an opinion from the relevant assessing body. Erring on the side of caution it is advisable that all applicants who intend to rely on skilled work experience to satisfy skilled visa requirements obtain an opinion from their skills assessing body regarding their skilled work experience, if such a service is offered. Already many skills assessing bodies are offering this service for a fee. These include:

  • Engineers Australia
  • Vetassess
  • Certified Public Accountants Australia
  • Institute of Public Accountants
  • The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia; and
  • The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council

The Australian Computer Society will start offering opinions on work experience shortly.

For any assistance with this or any other issue please click this link to contact

Visa Lawyers Australia.