Important changes to skills assessments for International students

webster By Mark Webster
Tuesday, 29 October 2013

There have been some significant changes affecting the skills assessment requirements for international students.

This will affect:

  • Students applying in general professional occupations assessed by VETASSESS (eg, marketing specialists, economists, chemists);
  • People completing IT qualifications in Australia.
  • Changes to ACS Graduate Skills Assessment

    Currently, International students do not need to show any work experience to pass skills assessment in an IT discipline. This skills assessment can then be used to apply for any temporary or permanent General Skilled Migration visa. It can also be used for permanent employer sponsored options such as ENS.

    This will change from 15th January 2014. From this date, international students will need to show work experience in their field or to have completed a professional year program to obtain a skills assessment which can be used for permanent visa options.

    Applying for a Temporary Graduate Subclass 485 Visa

    If you are applying for a Temporary Graduate subclass 485 Visa, your ACS assessment will be based on your Australian Qualification and can only be used for applying for a 485 visa. No work experience is required for the 485 assessment.

    Applying for Permanent Residency

    If you are applying for permanent residency (such as ENS or GSM), you will need:

  • 1 year of relevant work experience in your nominated occupation, OR;
  • To complete an ACS Professional Year Program.
  • This will allow you to get full skills assessment that can be used for general migration purposes.

    If you already hold a skills assessment for a 485 visa which was not based on work experience, you would need to obtain new full skills assessment if you wish to apply for permanent residence.

    VETASSESS Skills Assessment and Employer Sponsorship

    If you held a 485 visa based on a VETASSESS skills assessment and are looking to apply for ENS or RSMS visas, the skills assessment you obtained on your 485 will not be accepted for your ENS or RSMS application.

    To apply for ENS and RSMS, you would need a full Skills assessment that would require you to have at least 1 year of full time work experience in your nominated occupation.

    The Skills Assessment for a 485 visa requires your qualifications to be highly relevant to your nominated occupation, but it does not require work experience in your field.

    You would need to apply for a Post-485 Full Skills Assessment that will assess the work experience you gained on your 485 visa.

    This change will come into effect on 28th October 2013.

    If you lodged your ENS or RSMS application before 28th October 2013, you will not be affected by this change.


    As the changes for ACS won't come into effect until 15 Jan 2014, we would recommend that students seek to lodge their skills assessments and visa applications before this date.

    Please book a consultation if you would like a full assessment of your eligibility and options.





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