Migrating to Australia – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Want information on migrating to Australia? Here are useful links to provide information on migration, eligible occupations and qualifications assessment for intending migrants to get you started.

Before asking a question or posting a comment about migration to Australia please check this section to ensure your question has not already been answered.


Q 1.

How can I get more detailed information regarding the qualification assessment process for my occupation, and how do I apply to migrate to Australia?

A 1.

To obtain general information on general skilled migration to Australia you need to read Booklet 6: General Skilled Migration, which is available online from the booklets section of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.


The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship web site has the Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI) page. This page tells you the eligibility requirements for each occupation category.

Go to the ASRI website – http://www.immi.gov.au/asri/

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website provides more detailed descriptions of typical tasks for your chosen occupation.


Australia uses a points system to assess eligibility for immigration. This is explained in Booklet 6: General Skilled Migration. The ASRI web page lists the the points for your chosen occupation

There are several different assessing authorities for the range of occupations listed on the skilled occupation list (SOL). The ASRI web page lists the assessing authority for your chosen occupation. It also has the assessing authority contact details, including a link to the assessing authorities website.

Typically the assessing authorities provide documents that can be downloaded, including assessment handbooks which provide specific details on assessment methods, qualifications required, evidence required for qualifications, application procedures and forms. Read all this information thoroughly.

Q 2.

Do you know any websites or other sources where overseas to improve their professional and informal English language?

A 2.

Attend activities run by professional and trade organisations. A good starting point is your occupation or industry association.  These organisations have special interest group events which are advertised on their web site. Most are open to the general public.

The Australia Broadcasting Commission (the ABC) website provides a wide range of videos and podcasts you can download. http://www.abc.net.au/ Professional and trade organisations also has a range of podcasts available from their technical events

Project Australia – Land that Engineering Job in Australia provides further details and advice on internet searching techniques to find engineering organisations and finding general and technical video and podcasts. The technique applies to all occupations.

Q 3.

I have done my undergraduate degree in Pakistan in 2005. Previously I completed my Associate Diploma (3years). I have more than 8 years work experience after completing my diploma. How do I choose the category of occupation?

A 3.

For qualification assessment you will be considered to have either (a) an associate diploma with 8 years relevant experience, or (b) a degree with 3 years relevant experience. Your work experience before you completed your degree will not count as professional experience – it will not be considered relevant professional experience as you were not degree qualified then.

In any situation, only work experience relevant to the occupation you have selected in your application is considered.

In making your choice you need to consider the best combination of points toward a visa application, relevant work experience for assessment of your qualification and for visa points, and ease of qualification accreditation.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship web site has the Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI) page. This page tells you the eligibility requirements for each occupation category.

Go to the ASRI website – http://www.immi.gov.au/asri/
Once you have selected your occupation code you need to go to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website to obtain a fuller description of typical tasks for your chosen occupation.

Q 4.

My IELTS scores are L= 6 , R=6 , W=5.5 and speaking 6.5 ( Academic ) with an average of 6, Can I apply for qualification assessment of not?

A 4.

An average is not good enough. You did not pass the test. You must have 6 or more in all categories for your occupation. So you will have to repeat the test within two years of the original test and get 6 or more in the writing segment.

Q 5.

Do I need to submit my IELTS score while applying for skill assessment or can I arrange to report my score after applying for skill assessment. There are two types of IELTS tests (Academic and General ). Which one of these should I take?

A 5.

You must include an original English language test (IELTS) result with your application for certain occupations. You must arrange for the result to be forwarded directly to the assessing authority from the Test Centre.

Unless you are planning to go into teaching, for most professions you only need the general test. Their are specific English test requirements for certain occupations.

Here is an extract from the IELTS handbook.

“The Academic Module assesses whether a candidate is ready to study or train in the medium of English at an undergraduate or postgraduate level. Admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses should be based on the results of this module.

The General Training Module emphasises basic survival skills in a broad social and educational context. General Training is suitable for candidates who are going to English-speaking countries to complete their secondary education, to undertake work experience or training programs not at degree level, or for immigration purposes to Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The General Training Module is not offered at all test administrations.”

You can get more information from the IELTS website.  http://www.ielts.org.

Q 6.

I am the secondary applicant to my wife’s visa application, I would like to know whether my skills need to be assessed or do I need to take any kind of licence in order to work in Australia?

A 6.

The ASRI web page lists occupation licensing requirements. They vary in the different States.

It will greatly help your chances of getting a job if you have your qualifications assessed by the relevant assessing authority. Australian employers are worried about the quality of qualifications from some overseas countries. If you can show Engineers Australia accreditation, it removes that concern.

Q 7.

I have completed my degree in India and I don’t have any work experience. Can my degree in be accredited in Australia?

A 7.

The requirement for work experience for qualification assessment depends on your occupation. For example: engineers do not have to have work experience for qualifications assessment but computer professionals must have 4 years or more depending on the type and level of work and type of qualifications. In theory it is possible to be accredited without work experience; in practice it will be difficult. Also with no experience you will find it difficult to get a job.

For FAQs from engineers go to   FAQs for Engineering Migrants to Australia

Make informed decisions on one of the biggest steps you will take in your life – your migration to new opportunities. Understand the Australian general skilled migrant scheme and the points system, eligible occupations and qualifications assessment. It is wise to seek the assistance of a registered migration agent. (without a migration agent you have only a 50% chance of successful application)  Having a good knowledge of the Australian migration and qualifications assessment requirements will enable you gain the most value and the best outcome – to reduce the cost and time to make a new life in Australia.

Skip to comment form »

  1. ianlittle said on July 27, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Avi – For immigration, your engineering qualifications are assessed on your undergraduate qualifications. If your course is not covered by the Sydney Accord you will need to a CDR.

  2. Amrit said on May 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    i have lodged my documents to engineers australia on 10th may. how long will it take to get assesssed?

  3. ianlittle said on May 20, 2009 at 1:15 am

    Amrit – This is covered in the Migration Skills Assessment Handbook. If you are to succeed in Australia, you must be able to find these things for yourself. Do not expect me to spoon feed you. Professional engineers must be self sufficient.

  4. MN said on June 21, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    is valid IELTs score 5.5 to south of australia

  5. ianlittle said on June 21, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    MN – If you are an engineer – no. You need to talk with a migration agent about other occupations. Poor English is the biggest barrier a migrant has to overcomer
    to succeed in Australia.

  6. MN said on June 21, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    as i am electronic engineer , 8 years experience as computer
    teacher , is this accepted as experience?
    also part time instructor for private institue.
    if that accepted for which catagory?

  7. ianlittle said on June 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    MN – Read our FAQ page and follow the references. You need the English reading practice. You would be a teacher or lecturer. Your English is not good enough for you to be accredited as an engineer. I do not think you will be able to demonstrate professional engineering competencies from your teaching. Have a look at the competencies in the Migration Skills Assessment booklet for yourself and make your own judgement. Accreditation is about displaying competencies, this has nothing to do with years of experience.

  8. Priya said on June 24, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Hi Ian,

    I had a question.I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer science and engineering with 2 years work exp.If i want to apply for PR, can i get my CDR assessed by Engineers australia as my degree is computer science engineering(with some electrical and electronics subjects along with computer subjects) and not just IT?

  9. ianlittle said on June 24, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Priya – This will depend on the type of work experience you have had. You need to be able to write CDRs that demonstrate electronic engineer competencies. Look at the ASCO occupation definition on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website. Because you have done a mixed course you may not qualify for either occupation. Have a good look at the Australian Computer Society guidelines. If you have been working as a software engineer you would have little hope of gaining engineering accreditation from Engineers Australia..

  10. Amir said on July 11, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    1) I have 5 years full time paid experience after my BCS along with my masters. Is it acceptable?

    2) I have bank statements along with experience letter as evidence of experience is that enough other then educational documents?

    3) For first 2 years I receive salary in cash, what else I am supposed to provide along with experience letter?

    4) Urdu is our national and mother language. Do I still need to provide some evidence to get Community language points?

    5) i have done IELTS and now I have only one copy of it, should i send the original result letter or the copy?

  11. ianlittle said on July 12, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Amir – You can obtain the answers to your questions in the Migration Skills Assessment booklet. Part of the asessment is the ability to read and follow the instructions. Read the instructions in full and dicuss the migration aspects with a migration agent.

  12. Avi said on July 27, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Hi Ian,
    I am Engineering technologist graduate (electrical & electronics) from a South Pacific university. Currently, I am studying MBA from an Australian Uni via distance mode. Upon completion of MBA, would I still be required to have my undergraduate degree assessed? or does post graduate qualification waive that requirement?

  13. pradeep said on July 29, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    hi ian, i would like to inform you that i came in australia and i had applied protection visa but refused by the ministry and departed legally from australia as per their advise. Now, my wife want to migrate to australia.she did Bsc.Maths,B.ed,3 years experience as a secondary school teacher (maths) and she got ielts L-7,R-7.5,W- 7,S- 7. Is this possible to migrate to australia can our baby girl and me include as a depandant while lodging her application to department of immigration. What is the actual proceedure in this situation. I am awaiting your valuable reply,thanks and best regards,pradeep.

  14. ianlittle said on July 30, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Pradeep – You need to talk to a registered migration agent. We connect give migration advice.

  15. Pratik said on August 23, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I am having 5 years experiance in chemical engineering field and having PR.now in my migration process can you please suggest how much money i need to take with me to support my self and my wife .here i am interested to know money required to survive till i can get some work.i will surely apperciate if you can provide me any rough estimation?

  16. FASH said on September 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Hello Ian,
    I want to apply for General Skilled Migration and am being skeptical of it and was hoping if you could advise me based on the following:

    1) I am an Electrical Engineer from Engineering Institute from India ranked 1.
    2) I have an IELTS score of 8/9.
    3) I am working in the Renewable Energy Sector for the past year in Design and Development of new Renewable Energy Projects in the country.
    4)I am involved with a Start up company based in Qatar on Renewable Energy–writing of business plans sector etc -for which a fund of US$12,000 has been obtained from Qatar’s technology funding body.

    What are my chances of getting through the process?
    Thanking you,

  17. ianlittle said on September 3, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    FASH – With such good Engkish and work experience, preparing a CDR to get your qualifications assessed will be childs play. Of course your chances will improve even more if you get yourself a copy of Project Australia.strong>

  18. Chur Cruiser said on September 10, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Hi Ian, How are you?
    I just finished My Bachelor’s from Queen Margaret Univeristy in International Hospitality Management. I have also the Swiss Higher Diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management from Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality. I have lived in Switzerland for three years now for which I have learned the German Language and pretty good at it. I have worked for a total of 4 years in the Hospitality Industry starting from Saudi Arabia, to Switzerland.

    I have worked as assistant manager of a restaurant during my internship in Switzerland as well as working in many Banquets, Events, and Weddings. In 5*hotels and events and conferences centres. Not to mention the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    Plus I have a IELTS with a score of 7. Plus TOEFL 620. I consider my mother language as English and as Arabic second and German an extra language as Very Good. Hospitality industries worldwide do prefer multilingual people.

    So, Ian, I hope I am not boring you. What are my chances to go to Australia? Could you please guide me how and what to do in order to work and live in the land down under?

  19. ianlittle said on September 10, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Chur – I see you have come from our FAQ page, but have you gone to all the sites referenced from it? If you have got and read the Booklet 6 on Skilled Migration, gonne to the ASRI page and looked at the MODL and CSL pages you should be able to work out your situation without me.That is my aim – to help you find the information and make your own decisions as you know your situation best. I suspect you are not in an occupation in demand. You need is to look for sponsorship. The best way to do this is through companies you have contacts with that have operations in Australia. That should not be too hard in the hospitality trade. The other thing you could consider is a working holiday in Australia as a way to make contacts. get yourself a copy of Backpack to Briefcase to find out how this can work for you.

  20. Faizan said on October 19, 2009 at 2:45 am

    I am Faizan from Pakistan. I am an Electronic Engineer and have two years of Network Engineering experience in one of the big telecommunication company of Pakistan. My experience also comes in bit Information Technology Division. Can i be eligible if i go for assessment with Engineers Australia??

  21. ianlittle said on October 19, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Faizan – Being in telecommunications you fit as an elctronics engineer. You need to look at the Engineers australia assessment requirements and satisfy yourself that you can write a CDR.

  22. pratik said on October 25, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    I am having 5 years experiance in chemical engineering field and having PR.now in my migration process can you please suggest how much money i need to take with me to support my self and my wife .here i am interested to know money required to survive till i can get some work.i will surely apperciate if you can provide me any rough estimation?

  23. ianlittle said on October 25, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Pratik – It could take you six months to get your first jobif you do not prepare properly before you arrive in Australia. The absolute minimum you will be able to live on if you do not have friends to help you is $700 pe.r week. Work ard to make contacts and find a job before you leave home. Project Australia provides a lot of leads to help.

  24. joe said on November 19, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    hi ian
    i’m in australia as internatonal student and i’m studying in a public tafe so i want to know which site is providing to give me some information and to know the points of each course if i wanna apply for the permanent straight away after finishing the advance diploma.

  25. ianlittle said on November 20, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Joe – You apply for a skilled migration visa on the basis of occupation, not from the course you have done (a course may lead to more than one occupation). You need to go to the Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI) site. Follow the links from our FAQ page. The ASRI site give you the points and assessment requirements for occupations.

  26. Bella said on March 15, 2010 at 6:38 am

    Hi Jan,

    Thank you for the information displayed here.

    However, I would like to ask you ti advise me if there is a similar web-site about accountants, I mean being accountant and wanting to migrate to Australia, I would like to read some tips on this occupation related issues.


  27. ianlittle said on March 15, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Bella – I do not know of an accountant specific website. Most of the information on the tribus lingua site and in Project Australia is generic and applicable to any occupation.

  28. Madhu said on March 27, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Hai Ian,
    I am Madhu.I am a Chemical Engineer(B.Tech from India) currently working with the quality control division of the Indian Railways as Chemical &Metallurgical superintendant.I have 6 years of work experience during which I worked in the Non Destructive testing field(UT,RT,MPT),corrosion prevention ,Welding etc.Here I carry out various quality control analysis of materials used for the productionof locomotive coaches.Now I intend to apply for a skilled migration visa to Engineers australia.So I have the following doubts
    1)Can I get my qualification successfully assessed if i prepare a CDR based on my current work experience.
    2)Can I find out a job in some other field of chemical engineering apart from railways such as refineries with this experience in Australia.
    3)Can I include my project work in my CDR

  29. ianlittle said on March 27, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Madhu – Go to our blog thread Engineers Career Advice and follow all the links. The answer to your questions, and many more are their. If you are really serious buy Project Australia.

  30. champak said on March 27, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    how r u

    now i m doing bacheloe in business of business in hoapitality mgt and i will be finish on 30 july 2010.

    i start my course in feb 2007 and i also did advance diploma in hospiatlity mangemnt.

    i want to know i m able to apply for 485 subclasss after july 2010 or new sol. and new sol will be affect me or no.


  31. ianlittle said on March 27, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Champak – Talk to a registered migration agent. I would doubt if anyone can tell you what occupations will be on the new SOL. In Fact, I would not believe anyone who told me they new because I do not think the Government has worked it out yet.

  32. waqas sheikh said on May 22, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Hello Ian
    1- I have done electronics engineering
    2-Ielts score 8 band
    3-i have experience of 8 to 9 months in a telecom company in pakistan
    4-i have enrolled my self for a post graduate diploma named at a university based in brisbane
    5-i want to get my skills assessed by engineers australia as soon as i land on australian soil on the basis of my degree, the experience and the ielts score .
    My question to you is that
    1- what chance do i have on the basis of my current profile to get a positive outcome ?
    2- Will i be able to use the same assesment (if i get a positive outcome now) to apply for pr in future ?
    3- For how long does this assesment stay valid ?


  33. ianlittle said on May 22, 2010 at 6:25 am

    Waqas – You should be able to get a positive qualification assessment from a CDR application. the purpose of the assessment is for migration purposes. The assessment will stay valid as long as the current qualification assessment criteria remain as they are.

  34. waqas sheikh said on May 22, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    hello ian
    Kindly answer the following questions
    1-is getting your skills assessed the same as getting registered with engineers australia ?
    2-is it necessary for an engineer to register him/herself with engineers australia to practice further in the relevant field of engineering while in australia ?
    My purpose is to look for engineering related jobs apart from continuing my post grad studies . Please guide me accordingly . Thanks

  35. ianlittle said on May 22, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Waqas – Skill assessment is for immigration purposes. To become a member of Engineers Australia and a chartered engineer (CPEng)are totally separate things 9but if your qualifications are accredited that at least means you have an eligible qualification to join engineers Australia. You do not have to be registered with Engineers Australia to practice engineering in Australia. But it will help you get a job as your qualifications will be accepted. To take responsibility for engineering work in Queensland you need to be registered with the Queensland Board of Engineering.

  36. Umesh T P said on June 25, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Hi Ian
    This is Umesh here
    I have completed my Bachelors in Telecommunication Engineering and having two years of work experience in Telecom domain.

    Please suggest me whether I can apply for Skilled migration with this two years of experience and how long it would take me to get the PR.

    Thank you

  37. ianlittle said on June 25, 2010 at 3:19 am

    Umesh – You should be able to get your engineering qualifications accredited. You will have to see the new requirements to be issued on July 1.

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