Top 5 Tips for International Students Applying for Skilled Migration

natalya By Natalya Khodan
Monday, 09 November 2015

The Acacia Immigration team would like to congratulate everyone who finished their exams recently and wish you all the best with your results!

In this article I would like to cover 5 key issues to address in order make a successful application for skilled migration to Australia:


English is a key factor in meeting the pass mark for skilled migration and is also required by some skills assessing authorities.

Unless you are a passport holder from the UK, US, Canada, Ireland or NZ, you will need to do an English test.

The IELTS, OET, Pearson, Cambridge Academic and TOEFL tests of English are all now accepted by Immigration, but not necessarily by all skills assessment authorities.

English test results are valid for 3 years for migration purposes - we would recommend you start preparing early for your English test to avoid disappointment and stress!

University Documents

You don't need to wait for your graduation to apply for skilled migration. You can apply as soon as you have your final results - this is referred to as your "completion date".

You should obtain a letter of completion from your college or university. You will also need your final transcript or statement of marks. If you have received exemptions in the completion of your course, you should also obtain an exemption letter explaining which subjects you received exemptions for and whether these were as a result of Australia or overseas study.

Skills assessment

To apply for general skilled migration, you will need a positive skills assessment before you apply.

Requirements for each occupation are different, so you should make sure you understand the requirements well ahead of time. It's also possible you could consider skills assessment in a number of different occupations, and it is possible to use overseas qualifications for skills assessment. It is good to get some advice on the best pathway to use.

Skills assessment can take 3 months or more, so it is a good idea to start your skills assessment as soon as you can.

The 485 or Graduate Temporary visa does not require you to have a positive skills assessment at lodgement. By applying for a 485 visa, you will receive a bridging visa allowing you more time to complete the skills assessment process and any other requirements for the skilled application.

2 years of study in Australia

You will need to meet the "Australian Study" requirement for the 485 visa, or to claim points for Australian study. This would require you to have completed a course, or courses, taking at least 2 academic years of study in Australia.

You should check how long your course(s) are registered for on the CRICOS website - they must be registered for at least 92 weeks on CRICOS.

If you have received academic exemptions for previous study, this will reduce the calculated amount of study. Sometimes it is possible to count previous study in Australia if it resulted in credits which enabled you to complete your main course.

Unless you are applying for the Graduate Work stream of the 485 visa, you no longer need to show that your study is relevant to your nominated occupation.

EOI Invitation through SkillSelect

To apply for general skilled migration, you must first receive an invitation through SkillSelect. Depending on your occupation and points score, this can either be very fast or very slow. It's important that you get your strategy right from the start, otherwise, you may not receive an invitation at all!

Most importantly, applying for an EOI does not give you a bridging visa - you will need to be invited and apply for your general skilled visa before you receive a bridging visa. Most students don't have enough time to complete this process prior to the expiry of their student visa and apply for a 485 visa to extend their stay in Australia.


To be successful in applying for Skilled Migration, you have to plan ahead, be organised and make sure you act quickly after completion of your course.

If you would like assistance in coming up with a plan for your PR, please book an appointment with one of our advisors. They will give you an "Immigration Roadmap" giving you full details of the recommended options and what you need to do to give yourself the best possible chance.

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