VETASSESS changes see new requirements for certain Australian skilled visa applicants in 2010

by Lauren 28/10/2009 17:01:00

Changes to the VETASSESS skills
assessment requirements are set to
come into action in 2010.

VETASSESS have just announced they are to implement a new policy for assessing all people applying to emigrate to Australia on 1 January, 2010.

I'd like to take the time to answer a few immediate questions you might have, should you be applying for an Australian skilled visa on the basis of having a positive assessment from VETASSESS .

Some of the occupations VETASSESS are responsible for assessing include:

Please note: These changes only apply to general professional occupations assessed by VETASSESS, NOT trades occupations

What changes are going to be made by VETASSESS?

Currently, VETASSES only demand that an applicant have a qualification 'comparable to the Australian standard' in order to receive a positive assessment, with no criteria set regarding the qualification content or work experience.

However, in order to receive a positive skills assessment through VETASSESS from 1 January 2010, applicants will now need to have:

  • A qualification that is in a 'highly relevant field of study' to your nominated occupation; AND
  • Between 1 year and 3 years (depending on occupation) of 'relevant employment' to your nominated occupation.

This clearly sets the bar higher for VETASSESS applicants, demanding that they present far more evidence demonstrating their experience and study as it directly correlates to their nominated occupation. Unfortunately, with the key term 'relevant' still remaining undefined, it's hard to provide more information on exactly how the new requirements will work.

Who will the changes affect?

The changes have the potential to affect anyone in a general professional occupation who is looking to be assessed under VETASSESS, but especially those who lack the necessary qualification or work experience to be positively assessed in their nominated occupation under the new rulings. 

It's also worth noting the following quote included in the announcement from VETASSESS:

"DIAC will continue to accept all VETASSESS Skill Assessments from both the old and new system provided that your nominated occupation remains on the Skilled Occupation List and VETASSESS is the designated assessing authority for that occupation.  However, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship may ask you to have a current VETASSESS assessment if there is a significant gap between the date of assessment and the date of applying for your visa."

Based on this quote, we can take it that anyone with a successful VETASSESS assessment but is currently holding off on lodging their visa application should look into proceeding ASAP, especially if they have any fears that they will not qualify under the new requirements.

What should I do at this time?

A number of migration pathways have been tightened or closed off due to restrictions implemented by both the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and the various Australian states and territories. As a result, some migrants could find that without the ability to receive a positive skills assessment from VETASSESS in a specific nominated occupation, they will lack any route to Australia.

Therefore, I strongly recommend that anyone who has had a request to apply for assessment from VETASSESS to apply ASAP, making sure to send as complete and 'decision-ready' application as possible.

VETASSESS are stating that if you lodge a complete application before 31 December, you will be assessed under the current rules (with the further recommendation that applicants ensure to send their applications no later than 18 December, in order for VETASSESS to receive the application in time).

However, if anything is missing from your application, then it is likely you will be assessed under the new criteria.

Even if you feel confident that you will qualify under the new criteria, it would still be preferable to be assessed under the current familiar criteria and be in the best position possible to avoid any potential hurdles to your migration.

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

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