Solutions for failed skills assessment

Skills assessment is a mandatory requirement when applying for Permanent Residency (PR) visas under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) stream and select employer-sponsored visas. The applicant’s ability to satisfy the skills assessment criteria for his/her nominated occupation can affect the applicant’s eligibility for the visa that he/she plans to apply for. 

This article intends to provide possible solutions for visa applicants who have received a negative outcome of their skills assessment application. Here are the suggested four solutions:

1. Apply for a review/appeal

Most skills assessing bodies offer a review or appeal option for applicants who received a negative result on their application. For example, for the Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) Migration Skills Assessment (MSA), applicants with the unsuccessful result are given ninety days(90) to lodge a review application. 

Generally, an application for an appeal or review is the best option if you disagree with your skills assessment result, and you can justify why you should get a positive result. Some skills assessing bodies will consider new documents that you can add to your application during the review application but not on the appeal application. For example, the Australian Computer Society (ACS) and VETASSESS can accept additional supporting documents for a review application and not for an appeal application. 

2. Apply for the same nomination occupation again

This is a good option for applicants who cannot apply for appeal or review due to time constraints. For example, the reason why you received a negative outcome on your skills assessment application was because you were not able to include relevant documents and you obtained the said document after the allowable review time. 

Some applications were unsuccessful because the applicant did not have the required qualification and/or work experience required for the nominated application. If you are in this scenario, it would be best first to gain the required qualification and/or work experience and apply for another skills assessment for the same nominated occupation when you become eligible. 

3. Consider another nominated occupation

There are cases when there is no viable solution to satisfy the skills assessment criteria in the same nominated occupation through a review or appeal or a new application. For example, you might have applied for a Customer Service Manager skills assessment with VETASSESS but were refused because you did not perform the tasks required for this role. However, your skills assessment showed that you might be eligible for another nominated occupation. 

Some skills assessing bodies suggest a more fitting nominated occupation based on the documents you have provided. Australian Computer Society (ACS) and VETASSESS may sometimes point you to a different nominated occupation that matches your work experience and qualification. 

If your skills assessing body did not give you a suggested nominated occupation, you can revisit the skilled occupation list to see if other roles might fit your qualification and work experience. 

4. Consider applying for another visa

This is applicable for those applying for Employer Sponsored visas or those who have visa options other than PR visa under the GSM stream or Employer Sponsored visas. 

When applying for an ENS 186 Direct Entry visa, a skills assessment is a mandatory requirement. If your skills assessment application was unsuccessful, you could consider going for the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) 482 visa because it is not required to provide a positive skills assessment for all nominated occupations when applying for a TSS 482 visa. However, applicants in select occupations are required to provide skills assessment. These are mostly trade occupations such as Cooks, Chefs, Welders, depending on the applicant’s country of passport. 

TSS 482 visa holders whose nominated occupation is on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) can be eligible for an ENS 186 Transition stream after three years of holding a TSS visa. Skills assessment is not a mandatory requirement when applying for an ENS 186 Transition stream. 

These options are available for those who have other visa options such as a Partner visa or becoming a dependent on your partner’s or spouse’s PR visa. This way, you would not have to apply for another skills assessment or apply for an appeal of review of your negative skills assessment. 

Getting your skills assessment right the first time entails carefully reviewing all the criteria and ensuring you have the supporting documents to demonstrate how you satisfy the requirements. Some Registered Migration Agents or Immigration Lawyers can provide advice or assistance in skills assessment applications. It is suggested that you get professional advice before starting your application.