08 May 2007

New test for tradespeople moving to Australia

Visa Bureau is not affiliated with the Australian Government but is an independent UK company. Australian visas are available from the Australian Government at a lower cost or for free when you apply directly. Our comprehensive visa and immigration services include immigration advice from registered migration agents, a 100% success rate, document checking and expedited visa processing.

Recent news reports reveal that as of the 1st of July 2007, the TRA (Trades Recognition Australia) will change the way they assess certain trade occupations, with a practical test to be added to make for a three stage offshore assessment process.

At present, there is no detailed or specific information but the indications are that a practical test will be necessary for workers emigrating within the following occupations:

General Electrician
General Plumber
Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Mechanic
Motor Mechanic
Carpenter and Joiner
Electrical Powerline Tradesperson
Cable Jointers

Additionally, these changes mean that the assessment methodology will now comprise of three stages:

Self assessment: a free self assessment tool for potential applicants to gauge their suitability for the assessment process.
Paper based pre-assessment: an initial paper based pre-assessment that would take into account qualifications and work experience in the relevant trade.
Practical assessment: a technical interview and practical assessments.

On a positive note, the test will take place in the UK, thus enabling the listed tradespeople to be fully registered and able to be working in Australia from the moment they arrive.

However, the Australian Visa Bureau would still encourage all workers in the above occupations to continue gathering the necessary documents for the TRA assessment as usual (despite the impending amendments) as it can be expected that work references will still form a part of the process even after the practical test is introduced.

For those wishing to avoid any potential inconvenience that the practical test might present, there’s still time for workers within the affected industries to take action.

The Australian Visa Bureau would encourage those wishing to take this route to have their TRA application documents ready for inspection by their assigned caseworker as soon as possible, to allow them to lodge an application before the 1st of July and therefore avoid the changes.

With the amendments still in the preliminary stages, we are currently unable to inform clients whether the fee will be affected as a result of the changes, or if this change will result in an increase in the processing time. However, if any of these issues affect clients, Visa Bureau would once again recommend the lodging of their TRA under the current system before the proposed changes come into effect.

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