Skills Assessment Services

Delegates of the Minister will now accept a suitable skills assessment for an applicant’s nominated skilled occupation which has been obtained within the 60 day invitation period.

This change of approach is made as a result of the decision of Thapa v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs [2021] FCCA 686 (Thapa). The Minister will administer the Migration Regulations 1994 in accordance with the decision in Thapa, but the Minister reserves the right to make submissions in a Court that Thapa was wrongly decided.

Skills assessment validity periods are calculated as follows:

  • If no validity period is shown on a skills assessment, the assessment is valid for 3 years from date of issue,
  • If the validity period shown on a skills assessment is less than 3 years, the assessment is valid for the period stated on the assessment,
  • If the validity period shown on a skills assessment is more than 3 years, the assessment is valid for three years from date of assessment.

You must provide evidence that your skills have been assessed as suitable for your nominated occupation by the relevant assessing authority. You must provide from the relevant assessing authority a full (permanent) skills assessment which must be used for Points Tested Skilled Migration.

The Department of Home Affairs (the ‘DOHA’) requires visa applicants to supply skills assessments in support of a range of Skilled visa applications and Expressions of Interest (EOI). In some cases, overseas workers are also required to supply skills assessments in support of employer-sponsored work visa applications.


If you intend to apply for a ‘Skilled’ visa, you must obtain a skills assessment to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills that match those required for an occupation listed on current visa Occupation Lists. This requirement relates to the following visas:

·         Subclass 189 Skilled – Independent visa (Points Stream)

·         Subclass 190 Skilled – Nominated visa

·         Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa (Graduate Work stream)

·         Subclass 489 Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa

·         Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored (Regional) visa

In some cases, you may need to obtain a skills assessment for other employer-nominated visas. This is a requirement for subclass 186 ENS (Direct Entry stream) and certain subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa applicants.

For each skilled occupation listed on relevant occupation lists, the DOHA has specified an assessing authority that may carry out skills assessments for that occupation. Only a skills assessment conducted by the relevant assessing authority will be accepted by the DOHA in support of an EOI or visa application.

The assessing authority will review your qualifications and work experience to determine whether or not you possess the necessary skills to undertake your chosen occupation in Australia. Although the requirements for each occupation (and each assessing authority) differ, as a minimum, you will generally be required to provide evidence of your:

·         identity (e.g. passport)

·         qualifications (e.g. award certificates and academic transcripts)

·         work experience (e.g. written work references, tax records, employment contracts)

·         overseas or Australian registration or licensing, if applicable (e.g. registration/licensing document)

In addition, you must pay the fee charged by the authority for the skills assessment, and provide any other documents or information required.

NOTE: The exact requirements for a skills assessment application will vary depending upon your chosen skilled occupation and the relevant assessing authority. We will supply a comprehensive list of requirements once the occupation and assessing authority have been determined.



Once your skilled occupation has been selected from the relevant visa occupation list, and the skills assessing authority for that occupation has been identified from that list, we will conduct a pre‑assessment of your eligibility for a positive skills assessment. This requires us to review your personal information and documents so that we can determine whether or not the skills assessment that you wish to lodge is likely to be successful.

Skills Assessment Application

Should our pre-assessment conclude that your skills assessment application is likely to be successful, and should you wish us to prepare this application on your behalf, we will provide you with a full list of the information and documents that you need to supply in support of your application.

Once you have provided the necessary details and documents, along with the required assessment fee, we will lodge your application with the skills assessing authority. We will also follow up the application with the assessing authority as required, and respond to requests for information and documents, if needed.

The time that it takes the skills assessing authority to process your application is dependent upon its processing time service standards, and may also vary due to a number of other factors, including the complexity of your case, perceived risk factors and processing priorities. Please contact us for current information regarding likely processing timeframes for this type of application.

Employment and Qualification Verification

As part of its due diligence when processing your application, the skills assessing authority may undertake extensive checks of your work experience and qualifications, including conducting internet and social media searches and/or directly contacting you, education providers and employers (past and present), by email or telephone, regarding information supplied in your application. All social media information, contact persons and details must be current and relevant persons made aware that they may be contacted for this purpose.

The skills assessing authority is able to take into consideration any publicly available, relevant information that it accesses on the Internet, or from third party sources, when making a decision regarding your skills assessment application. This includes any information that directly contradicts details that you have supplied in your application, for example regarding your qualifications or work history.

494 visa skills assessment requirements

You must have your skills assessed as suitable for the nominated occupation by the relevant assessing authority. The assessment will show us you have the skills to work in the nominated occupation.

The skills assessment must be undertaken before your application is lodged. A skills assessment obtained for a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) is not a valid assessment for this visa.

You do not need to complete a skills assessment if at the time of application you held a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) or Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) for the nominated occupation and in order to be granted that visa, you were required to demonstrate your skills by providing a suitable skills assessment.

You are exempt from this criteria if any of the following applies to you:


491 visa skills assessment requirements

For your application to be valid, you must declare that you have a suitable skills assessment at time of invitation.

You will need to provide a copy of this skills assessment with your application.

For medical and legal practitioners, we also accept the following as proof of a skills assessment:

  • full or unconditional or general medical registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
  • conditional specialist registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. This only allows you to practise in your speciality. You need no further training or supervision
  • admission to practice law in the relevant state or territory

Your skills assessment must have been obtained in the 3 years before the date of your invitation. If the assessment was for a shorter period, that period must not have passed.

If your skills were assessed on the basis of a qualification you got in Australia when you held a student visa, the qualification must be from studying a course registered on CRICOS.

We are specialists dealing with the following skills assessing authorities:

  • AACA – Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, Inc
  • AASW – Australian Association of Social Workers
  • ACS – Australian Computer Society
  • ACOPRA – Australian Council of Physiotherapy Regulating Authorities, Inc.
  • ADC – Australian Dental Council
  • AIM – Australian Institute of Management
  • AIMS – Australian Institute of Medical Scientists
  • AIQS – Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors
  • AIR – Australian Institute of Radiography
  • AIWCW – Australian Institute of Welfare and Community Workers
  • AMSA – Australian Maritime Safety Authority
  • ANCI – Australian Nursing Council Incorporated
  • APC – Australasian Podiatry Council
  • APEC – Australian Pharmacy Examining Council Inc
  • APS – Australian Psychological Society
  • ASCPA – Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants
  • CASA – Civil Aviation Safety Authority
  • DAA – Dieticians Association of Australia
  • ICAA – Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia
  • IEAust – Institution of Engineers, Australia
  • ISA – Institution of Surveyors, Australia
  • NAATI – National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters
  • NOOSR – National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition
  • OCANZ – Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand
  • SLAA – State Legal Admission Authority
  • SPAA – Speech Pathology Association of Australia
  • TRA – Trades Recognition Australia
  • VETASSESS – Vocational Education and Training Assessment Services