Once the initial research about the country, immigration agent and the visa points system was done, I was ready to get a jump start on the real thing. Please beware that it’s a long process, which can take over a year if everything is perfect and there are no surprises. You have to invest a lot of time, patience, money and energy in the process. So before jumping into it, make sure that you are absolutely sold to the idea of immigration.
Skills Assessment or English Language Test?
This is sort of a chicken or the egg first, kind of problem. Before starting the visa process, many people face this dilemma and get confused as to which one should be done first. I voted in favor of skills assessment because:
- It takes a lot of time to gather mammoth list of documents. It took me nearly 3 months to get roles and responsibility letters from just three companies where I worked. I can’t imagine how long it will take for a person who changed lot more companies than me. It may take more time due to the change in circumstances as well. For example, the company you worked for got acquired or merged with other company or the division where you worked no longer exists or your manager left the company or company went out of business.
- You can submit documents for assessment and while waiting for the outcome, prepare and appear for English test. This way by the time your assessment is done, your English test score is ready too and you have saved a lot of waiting time. I did this and saved almost two months.
- It makes sense to first evaluate your skills rather than English proficiency. If your qualifications and experience don’t result in enough points, English proficiency alone would rarely be of any help.
- English proficiency test can be re-taken and depends on individual’s efforts. This is not the case with skills assessment
- Documents that you collect and organize for skills assessment are also helpful for visa application later on.
- If you fall short of points by small margin, you can use English test to make up for it.
What Is Skills Assessment?
Skills assessment, in simple terms, means evaluation of your qualification and work experience by an authorized assessing authority. Each occupation listed on SOL has a different assessing authority, a list of which can be found here. In my case, since I used Software Engineer (261313) as my nominated occupation, the assessing authority was Australian Computer Society (ACS).
What are the documents required?
Gathering all the required documents for ACS evaluation was a highly daunting task for me. Below are the list of documents which I collected. You can find an up-to-date list on ACS website.
Certified true copy (read notarized) of
- Passport identification page or Birth Certifcate
- Marriage certificate, if applicable
- Updated CV (doesn’t need to be notarized)
- All the academic qualifications having below details
- Name of the qualification
- Name of the Institution
- Month and year of course completion
- Names of the course subjects and grades awarded
- Exemption or Advance standing letter (If you studied in Australia)
- Abstract of Research if you completed qualification through research
- PDF containing login details in case of professional qualifications such as Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco certifications.
- Roles and responsibility letters or statutory declarations from all the previous companies where you worked. It must be written on a company letterhead and signed by authorized person. It should contain details like:
- Start and end date of employment
- Details of duties performed
- Full time or part time
- Country of employment
- In case of statutory declaration,
- Must contain words “Sworn before” or “Signed before” or “witnessed before”
- Signed by authorized witness with date and place
- Signed by colleague at par or senior to you
- Should be printed on Rs. 10/20 stamp paper and business or visiting card of person signing it should be attached along with it
- Offer letter or appointment letter
- Experience letter or service certificate
- Pay slips from all previous organizations – one for each quarter or at the very least, first and last pay slip for each company
- Form 16 and/or income tax returns for all the years of employment
Some important points to remember here are:
- All the documents must be photocopied and notarized
- Along with sign, notary stamp must include details like name, designation and most importantly, registration number. Below is one such sample.
As shown above, usually there are two stamps – one is a round Notary stamp listing name, registration number, district and state of the notary. Second one is True Copy stamp listing name of the notary along with date.
- You should stitch multiple pages into single PDF for each qualification and employer. You can use online tools such as PDFMerge to do this for free.
- If your academic scorecard contains short codes for subject, you need to provide transcript listing subject names too. For example, if your score card contains subject name such as CS-51, you must provide transcript describing what CS-51 is.
- You should not use password-protected PDF files
- For a non-English document, you need to submit English translation from accredited authority
Gathering all these documents except three specific ones was relatively easy. But I nearly pulled my hairs out chasing after these three documents. Which are these three documents and how did I manage to secure them? Continue reading the next installment in this series.
Moving To Australia Series
- Moving To Australia – The Idea
- 10 Reasons Why I Chose Australia
- Which Work Visa Is Right For You?
- Should I Go With Migration Agent?
- Introduction To Skilled Visa Points System
- How To Prepare For Skills Assessment – Part 1
- How To Prepare For Skills Assessment – Part 2
- How To Clear IELTS In First Attempt – Part 1
- How To Clear IELTS In First Attempt – Part 2
- How To Clear IELTS In First Attempt – Part 3
- EOI – Express Your Desire To Migrate
- Getting Visa Invitation
- Lodging Visa Application And Making Visa Payment
- Getting Evidence of Functional English
- Undergoing Health Examination – The Whole Story
- Getting Indian PCC And The Road Ahead