The issue of discretionary skills assessment requests has been raised frequently recently. The Department has now taken on board the concerns of many sponsors and the following new arrangements have been implemented:

Changes to exemptions

The exemptions to mandatory skills assessments for applicants nominated as Program or Project Administrators (ANZSCO 511112) or Specialist Managers NEC (ANZSCO 139999) have been expanded to cover individuals who:

  • are applying for a repeat 457 application and completed a VETASSESS skills assessment for their previous visa for the same occupation; or
  • are nominated as intra-company transfers and employed in a similar occupation for the same company overseas.

Officers may also exercise their discretion not to require a VETASSESS Skills Assessment from a visa applicant if the applicant has significant formal qualifications and/or extensive work experience and:

  • has a salary level of $180,000 or more; or
  • the sponsor is accredited.

This is another example of the significant benefits of sponsor accreditation. Should you like further information on the sponsor accreditation process, please call Simon or Elise on (02) 9233 1805.

Please note:  The Department retains the right to request a discretionary skills assessment where it has bonafide concerns, but these are insufficient to support a refusal decision. New arrangements have, however, been put in place to ensure that this only occurs when necessary and in consultation with 457 programme management and the relevant assessing authority.