Australian Immigration Policies are at all-time tough now, and aspiring migrants are looking for every possible way to get closer to achieving their visa goals. Given the market demand of people trying to gain skill assessment in trade occupations, there is an influx of RPL providers and those who promote RPL & SKILL ASSESSMENT.

It is a fact that skill assessment is mandatory to apply for a General Skilled Migration Visa like Subclass (494, 186, 189 and 190). Depending on your country of passport and occupation, you may also be required to have a positive skill assessment to apply for a work visa Subclass 482 - Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa. While we understand that achieving a positive skill assessment might feel like the biggest win and a pathway towards the Australian dream visa, the fact is RPL & Skills Assessment does not lead to Permanent Residency nor guarantees a successful visa outcome!

I would like the industry professionals and intending applicants to refer to the below texts which is an extract from the legislation - Migration Act 1958 - specifically for a 494 Visa.

Skills assessment on the basis of a qualification obtained in Australia - A satisfactory skills assessment made on the basis of a qualification obtained in Australia while the applicant held a student visa, will only satisfy subclause - 494.224(3) if the qualification was obtained as a result of studying a registered course.

Skills assessments gained on the basis of qualifications obtained as a result of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) or Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) do not satisfy this requirement.

While no doubt achieving a positive skill assessment is one major step in achieving work or a skilled visa, how skill assessment was achieved is the major factor. Despite the above, I have seen a lot of students/intending migrants rushing towards RPL while undertaking formal studies. To put things into perspective, here is the real example: A commercial cookery student is using RPL and Skill Assessment before even completing their formal studies influenced by false advertisements.

I strongly encourage all clients to conduct thorough research and homework before deciding and acting towards your visa pathway. Cutting corners and shortcuts will not sail nor will help you achieve your dream visa in Australia. The last thing you want is a visa refusal because of the skill assessment based on RPL. Saying that getting an RPL for achieving a skill assessment is not always a wrong pathway. The truth and possible scrutiny on skill assessment by the Department of Home Affairs despite the successful outcome is real. Not many Immigration professionals are aware of this; hence the onus of choosing the right professional to guide you through your Australian visa process ultimately lies on your shoulders.

It might be worth considering that back in March 2018, there was a major announcement from then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to abolish the 457 visa program which was largely based on the RPL and skill assessment. The visa subclass was then replaced by subclass 482 as the former failed to keep up with the integrity of the visa program and lost credibility. The most common inquiry in the industry is how many people had easier pathways a few years back with RPL, but they tend to fail to realise that the times have changed, rules have become stricter, and the ship has sailed.

Therefore, I strongly encourage everyone to do thorough research before proceeding with RPL & Skill assessment. While RPL assessment is a potential pathway to an Australian qualification, it is not for people requiring an assessment for migration purposes, the ambiguity of which can only be decided by a Qualified Registered Migration Agent & Immigration Lawyers. The good news for migrants these days is that you have the finest Immigration professionals to help you navigate Australia's immigration process. The onus of choosing the right professional to guide you through your Australian visa process ultimately lies on your shoulders.

Get in touch before it is too late for detailed assessment and guidance on your case. At Koala Solutions, down-patting Immigration Law is one of the key areas of expertise.

Raju KC

Director & Registered Migration Agent for KOALA SOLUTIONS


Disclaimer: The above article is not intended as migration advice nor tailored to specific circumstances rather to address the current issues surrounding the skill assessment and RPL scenarios.