Licensing and registration requirements for 186 visa

One of the criteria of 186 visa is that the applicant must hold a license or registration if it is mandatory for the nominated occupation. The question that we often come across is whether it is mandatory to register or obtain the license for a particular occupation.

In this article, we will explore in deep how to determine whether your occupation requires mandatory license or registration to meet this criterion of the visa.

Mandatory registrations and licensing

If, in order for a person to work in an occupation where registration, licensing or professional membership is mandatory in the State/Territory in which the position is located, the applicant must hold, or be eligible to hold, the relevant registration, licence or membership, at the time of application.

The definition of ‘mandatory’

Registration, licensing or professional membership:

  • is considered mandatory for visa purposes only if every person working in that occupation is required to have some form of registration, licensing or professional membership
  • is not considered mandatory if a person can perform work in the occupation without registration or similar, even if the work has to be performed under supervision.

If, for visa purposes, registration, licensing or professional membership is mandatory (as described above), the registration, licensing or professional membership held must not impose further requirements or limit the ability of the person to perform the full range of tasks and the person must not require further training or on-the-job supervision:

  • an applicant with conditional or provisional registration, licensing or professional membership that requires them to undergo additional safety or occupational training or to work in supervised workshops does not satisfy this requirement but
  • continuing professional development requirements of fully registered or licensed applicants are acceptable, however, and such applicants satisfy the requirement.

How to determine whether a license/ registration is mandatory for your occupation?

There is no single definitive source that covers registration, licensing or membership requirements across occupations identified within the ANZSCO framework. This is partly because registration and licensing requirements are generally managed at State/Territory level through industry or occupation specific legislation.

The starting point in assessing whether a particular occupation requires licensing, registration or specific membership is the ANZSCO dictionary. The dictionary refers to registration, licensing and professional membership requirements at the Unit Group level for each group of occupations. The procedure can be summarized as below

Eligibility to be registered, licensed or hold professional membership

An applicant is ‘eligible for registration, licensing or membership’ when they have been fully assessed and their eligibility to hold the registration, licence or professional membership has been confirmed by the relevant body.

There are two elements to the above and their distinction is important for those who hold ‘Provisional Registration’ but require ‘General Registration’ in order to be fully registered, licensed, or hold professional membership:

  • ‘Fully assessed’ requires that all the requisite assessment items as set by the relevant body have been satisfactorily completed.
  • The second element requires that, on the basis of the above assessment items, ‘the relevant body has confirmed their eligibility to hold the registration, licence or professional membership’. That is, the application for registration, supported by the relevant assessment items, must have been successful and the relevant industry body must have actually upgraded the applicant’s provisional registration to full or general registration/license/membership.

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