Great News for Australian Skilled Migration Visa Applicants

The Department of Home Affairs will now accept a suitable skills assessment for the skilled migration applicant’s nominated occupation that has been obtained within the 60-day invitation period.

According to the update, applicants will be eligible to apply for visas under the Australian skilled migration category if they can get a skill assessment of their nominated occupation within 60 days from the date of receiving the invitation to apply for the visa.

What does this mean for applicants?

Melbourne-based migration agent Naveen Kumar said this is “great news” for applicants who previously would miss the opportunity to apply for the visa because their skills assessment validity expired before they received the invitation.

“Previously, if you received the invite to lodge the application and your skills assessment validity expired before the day you received the invite, you would not be able to lodge the valid application,” he explained.

Decoding the new advisory, Mr Kumar said that the change now allows applicants to apply for a visa application even if their skills assessment has expired at the time of invitation.

“The Department has given additional 60 days to obtain a valid skills assessment.”

“For example, if you have a valid skills assessment as a chef at the time of lodging the expression of interest (EOI), but the day you receive the invite to apply for a 189 visa, your skills assessment is expired. In this case, you will now have 60 days to obtain a valid skills assessment and lodge the application within this time frame,” he shared.

Who needs a skills assessment?

Applicants for the following points-tested GSM visas must have a suitable skills assessment for their nominated occupation:

  • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
  • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
  • Skilled Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489)
  • Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491)

To be invited to apply for a points-tested visa, applicants must have nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list for that visa subclass.

Applicants are required to provide evidence that they have a suitable skills assessment for their nominated occupation at the time of submitting the application.

Getting a skills assessment
Applicants are required to contact the relevant assessing authority for their nominated occupation.

“Check which skills assessing authority is the correct one for your nominated occupation and organise your skills assessment well before you apply for the visa,”  the Department website states.

Melbourne-based migration agent Saurabh Smar said he encourages clients to arrange their skills assessment before they intend to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect.

“Applicants must not rely on a skills assessment that was obtained after they were invited to apply because sometimes the relevant assessment authorities take up to 12 weeks or longer to assess depending on their nominated occupation.

“And even if the advisory now allows applicants to obtain their skills assessment within the 60-day invitation period, there are chances some might miss the bus,” he warned.

The Department website states that the change of approach was made as a result of the decision of Thapa v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs [2021] FCCA 686 (Thapa).

In the case, Judge Humphreys adopted the interpretation that the wording “the time of invitation” shall be the period of validity of the invitation to apply for the visa, which is 60 calendar days from the date of an invitation letter issued through SkillSelect.

Mr Smar said applicants must be aware that each assessing authority has its own procedures, timeframes and charges.

“The assessment can take some time and can vary between different authorities. If applicants fail to get a positive assessment result, they cannot apply for a skilled migration visa,” he said.

Disclaimer: This content is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

Source: SBS News

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