Fixing Up Loopholes


An amendment was made coming into effect on 28 October 2013 to stop applicants using a skill assessment obtained for a Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa in the permanent residence ENS visas. In addition, amendments were also made coming into effect on 1 July 2014 putting a time limit on the validity of skills assessments.

The amendments are set out in bold below:


(1) At the time of application, subclause (2) or (3) applies.

[(2) amended by SLI 2013, 233 with effect on and from 28/10/2013 – LEGEND note]

(2) All of the following apply:

(a)      an assessing authority specified by the Minister in an instrument in writing for this subclause, as the assessing authority for the occupation, has assessed the applicant’s skills as suitable for the occupation;

(aa) the assessment is not for a Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visa;

(ab)  if the assessment specifies a period during which the assessment is valid, and the period does not end more than 3 years after the date of the assessment — the period has not ended;

(ac)  if paragraph (ab) does not apply—not more than 3 years have passed since the date of the assessment;

(b)      the applicant has been employed in the occupation for at least 3 years on a full-time basis and at the level of skill required for the occupation.

Some crafty applicants were getting away with using the provisional subclass 485 skill assessment for ENS purposes.  Of course, there is the requirement that the applicant having been employed in the occupation for 3 years.

In addition, the imposition of a validity period on skills assessments put a stop to very old skills assessments being used. (For example, the TRA skills assessments use to be valid for life.) Practitioners now have to carefully monitor the validity period of a skills assessment. It is pointed out that while the maximum validity period is 3 years if the skills assessing authority specifies a shorter validity period then the shorter period will apply. (For example, ACS generally has a 24 month validity period on their skills assessments.)