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Skills Assessments for Permanent Residency Visas

Written By Michelle O'Sullivan
Tue, Oct 31, 2017
Michelle O'Sullivan

 Recently we published an article outlining the pathways available to applicants for permanent residency, without a sponsoring employer or holding a 457 visa for a two year period. 

As outlined in this article, direct permanent residence applications (with a few limited exceptions) will require an applicant to first obtain a positive skills assessment in their occupation.

Different skills assessing authorities will assess different occupations and these authorities will have their own standardised criterion, some of which can be very specific. To ascertain the requirements for a skills assessment in your occupation, an applicant will need to first confirm who the relevant assessing authority is, and then cross check the requirements set out by this authority for their occupation. Keep in mind that some authorities offer various assessments for different visa types (e.g, 457 skills assessments, versus skills assessments for permanent visas).

Applicants who wish to apply for permanent residency prior to the impending legislative changes in March 2018 are encouraged to begin the process of having their skills assessed now. This is because the majority of assessing authorities cite processing times of 10 – 12 weeks. This timeframe runs from the date that you provide all of the requisite documentation.

In some cases, the authority will insist that all applications must be “decision ready”, meaning that failure to provide all documentation in line with their requirements from the outset, could lead to a negative assessment outcome, without any opportunity to provide further evidence.

There are some authorities that will provide a fast-tracked service, should the applicant be willing to pay a higher fee. Examples of authorities which offer this service are listed below:

VETASSESS Priority Processing is available only for new prospective applicants who require a Full Skills Assessment for General Professional occupations. Priority cases will be assessed within 10 days. This is at an additional charge of $660.00.

Australian Computer Society will offer priority processing for applicants with visa deadlines less than 12 weeks from the date of application. These applications will generally be decided 2 weeks’ before the given deadline.

Engineers Australia will offer a Fast Track service to those who require urgent assessment. This is at an additional charge of $275 and can be turned around in 15 days.

A skills assessment is only valid until the expiry date specified on the assessment, or when a period of three years from the date of issue has elapsed, whichever occurs first.

Applicants are encouraged to contact TSS Immigration for an assessment of their permanent residency options and a detailed overview of the skills assessment requirements applicable to their occupation.

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