MSA FAQs

 

​Is the MSA the right program for my occupation and country of passport?

You are eligible to apply for the MSA program if your nominated occupation is:

You must check with DIBP before submitting your application to ensure your visa pathway requires a skills assessment, and that TRA is correct assessing authority for your nominated occupation.

You are not eligible for the MSA program if you are:

  • an applicant from a specified country of passport and occupation,  which requires a skills assessment under the Offshore Skills Assessment Program
  • applying for the Job Ready Program
  • applying for a Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485)
  • applying for a Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (subclass 457)

Which occupation do I nominate?

​When nominating your occupation, you should refer to the ANZSCO occupations listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) available on the DIBP website.

​TRA cannot advise you on the right occupation for your application. You must nominate the occupation for which you wish to be assessed.  

Applications without an occupation or that nominate an occupation that TRA does not assess cannot be processed.

What do I do if I can't download/access the application form for the Migration Skills Assessment?

To access the PDF version of the application form on the TRA website, you need Adobe 8 or above (Adobe is available as a free download). 

How will I know if TRA has registered my application?

Applications are registered following receipt. You will receive an acknowledgement letter via email with your TRA reference number confirming receipt of your application once it has been registered.

How long will it take to process my skills assessment?

Applications are assessed in order of receipt and processing times may vary. Generally most Migration Skills Assessments are completed within 90 days from registration. Should there be any considerable delay, TRA will post a news item on its website.

I need my application processed faster than the standard 90 days. What do I need to do?

The following evidence must be provided to TRA with any request to expedite an application:

  1. A letter from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and/or a State/Territory authority responsible for State Migration sponsorship confirming:
    • approval of a ‘nominated position’,
    • that the applicant is the nominee for that position, and
    • the expiry date for that offer.

    OR

  2. A letter from a person with the appropriate authority of the employer intending to sponsor the applicant for migration, on their letterhead, with details regarding the nature of the urgency. This letter must be signed by a person with the appropriate authority to progress the applicant’s migration sponsorship and include their position within the company and contact details.

This information must be emailed to TRA at traenquiries@education.gov.au, including your full name, date of birth, and TRA reference number.

Do I need an English language Test (such as IELTS)?

An English language test is not required for the Migration Skills Assessment Program.

Part 4 of the application form states "Formal training relevant to your nominated occupation and accredited by an authorised governing body" What does this mean?

"Formal training" generally refers to a period of study that results in a nationally recognised award or qualification. "Accredited by an authorised governing body" means that the training undertaken must be accredited and regulated by the appropriate governing body in the country of issue, for example a Ministry of Education, or a State Board of Technical Education.

Can my occupational licence substitute a formal qualification?

No, an occupational licence cannot substitute a formal qualification.

I don't have a formal qualification. Will I get a successful skills assessment?

Your application will be unsuccessful if you do not have a relevant formal qualification for your nominated occupation.

You may consider undertaking a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process with an Australian Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Details about which RTOs can assess your skills and evidence against the relevant Australian qualification for your nominated occupation are listed on the Australian Government's website: www.training.gov.au. You can contact one of the RTOs listed directly.

Can my work experience substitute for a qualification?

No. TRA does not accept work experience as a substitute for a qualification.

Why does TRA need a transcript of the subjects I studied for my qualification?

TRA compares qualifications issued overseas to the relevant Australian qualification for the nominated occupation when determining relevance. To do this, TRA requires the academic transcript to be provided in the application.

If you do not have a copy of your qualification and transcript we suggest that you contact the institution that issued your award and ask them to provide you with either a copy of your transcript, or other official certified documentation stating your name, the qualification and the date awarded, an overview of the content of the program and the competencies/subjects completed by you. 

I am self-employed, can I apply?

Yes, applicants who are self-employed and can meet the program requirements specified in the Migration Skills Assessment Guidelines are eligible for the MSA program.

What evidence do I need for my employment?

Employer Template

You will need to provide a completed Employer Template for each period of employment (or self-employment) you wish to claim. These templates are found here. Further details regarding the Employer Template are listed in section 4.3.1 of the MSA Applicant Guidelines.

Pay Evidence

TRA requires sufficient evidence of paid employment to verify that your employment was full-time (or equivalent part-time) and at the required skill level for your occupation in Australia.  The employment pay evidence you are required to submit will vary depending on your employment type. A full list of employment pay evidence is listed at section 4.3.2 of the Migration Skills Assessment Applicant Guidelines. 

Can I substitute the Employment Template with a reference letter from my employer?

Under the Applicant Guidelines, applicants are required to provide Employer/Self-Employment Templates completed by their employer. TRA will not accept a reference letter in place of a completed Employment Template.

My employer no longer exists and I cannot have the Employer Template completed. Can I submit a statutory declaration instead?

If you have an existing reference letter signed by the former employer, you may complete the Employer Template yourself and attach the reference letter. If you do not have a signed employer statement, other supporting evidence must be provided, for example, contracts of employment or letters of offer. TRA requires supporting evidence to enable claims of employment to be verified. If TRA cannot verify that you were employed by the business, employment may not be considered toward meeting the employment requirements for your skills assessment.

I don't have evidence of paid employment. Can I still apply?

You are required to submit documentary pay evidence so TRA can verify the employment claims in your application. If you do not have verifiable documentary pay evidence for each period of employment you are claiming, then that period of employment will not be accepted.

What if I have only worked part-time?

Evidence of employment undertaken on a part-time basis will be considered and counted towards the employment requirement on a pro-rata basis. TRA considers full-time employment in Australia as 38 hours per week, unless a particular industrial award specifies otherwise. For example, if hours worked are 20 hours per week it would take an applicant two years to meet the equivalent of one year full-time employment.

How many payslips do I need to provide?

For employment not completed in Australia, TRA will require three payslips for each year of employment you are claiming. Each payslip must cite the names of the employer and employee. Comprehensive information regarding evidence requirements can be found in the Migration Skills Assessment Applicant Guidelines.

For employment completed in Australia you will only be required to provide a Payment Summary Information statement issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) that lists your employer/s and payment amount for each period of Australian employment you are claiming. This can be obtained by contacting the ATO on 13 11 42.

I cannot obtain a Payment Summary Information statement from the ATO for the current financial year, what other evidence can I provide?

If you wish to claim employment for the current financial year you must provide 3 payslips from the current financial year citing the name of the employee and employer.

If I re-apply for a new MSA, do I need to resubmit documents I have already provided to TRA?

In most instances you are not required to resubmit documents you have already provided with a previous MSA application.  You can submit any additional evidence you wish to have assessed in a subsequent application.  Please ensure you quote your TRA reference number.

I am a Child Care Center Manager. Am I eligible to apply?

The relevant minimum Australian qualification required for a Child Care Center Manager is the Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care. Eligible applicants are required to hold this qualification or have a comparable international qualification.
 
Applicants are also required to have relevant employment as a Child Care Center Manager.
 
The responsibilities of a Child Care Center Manager are:
  • developing and implementing programs to enhance the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of young children
  • providing care for children in before-school, after-school, day, and vacation care centres
  • directing and supervising Child Carers in providing care and supervision for young children
  • ensuring the centre is a safe area for children, staff and visitors
  • relevant government requirements and standards
  • liaising with parents
  • records and accounts for the centre
  • recruiting staff and coordinating professional development 
 
Employment must be completed in a child care facility of substantial size and reputation and is subject to a regulatory framework.

I have received my skills assessment outcome letter and need feedback. What do I need to do?

To request feedback, please email traenquiries@education.gov.au with your personal information including your TRA number. Please note responses to feedback requests can take up to two working days.

How do I request a review of my MSA outcome?

You have 90 days from the date of your assessment to apply for a review. Your MSA outcome letter will contain information about how to apply for a review. You cannot supply any additional information with a review application. If you are unable to meet the review deadline, you can submit a new application with the required fee at any time.

You can also download the ‘Review Request Form’ from the “Forms and Policy” tab.

How do I request a copy of my MSA outcome letter?

You must request a replacement outcome letter in writing. TRA requires verification of your identity when requesting a copy of an outcome letter.  Your request must include your full name, TRA reference number, date of birth, current postal address and email address.  TRA may also require you to provide a signature or other photo identification if unable to verify your identity.

What if my occupation requires a licence to work in Australia?

To work in some occupations in parts of Australia, you may be subject to further testing, assessment of State Government licensing or registration requirements. Occupational Licences are issued by State licensing bodies. Please refer to the information for your occupation available on the Licence Recognition website: www.licencerecognition.gov.au. This includes details of State licensing authorities.

I have a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Level 2 from the United Kingdom. Will TRA accept this as a comparable qualification for my skills assessment?

TRA will accept an NVQ 2 as a comparable qualification in some cases and for some occupations. Generally, TRA considers the United Kingdom NVQ 2 to be at a level broadly comparable with that of the AQF Certificate III that is required for the majority of occupations assessed by TRA. However, training programs leading to an NVQ 2 can be highly varied in their content, duration and delivery methods. For this reason, TRA cannot guarantee that your NVQ 2 will be accepted in all cases. 

When assessing your NVQ 2, TRA will look at the length of your training or apprenticeship period and the subjects you studied for your qualification.  Your NVQ 2 will not be accepted if it is missing components which are major requirements of the comparable Australian qualification for your occupation.  For example, the NVQ 2 in Gas Network Operations is not accepted for Gasfitters because it does not include training in gas appliances, flues or ventilation as is required in the relevant Australian qualification for that occupation, the Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) Certificate III in Gasfitting.

If you decide to use an NVQ 2 as the main qualification in your TRA application, you should ensure that you have included detailed evidence of the training that you did to receive your qualification.

Please note that TRA considers the NVQ 2 to be at most comparable to an AQF Certificate III.  Some occupations require a comparable level of qualification higher than a Certificate III. In these cases, your NVQ 2 will not be accepted as comparable.

More information about occupations that require a comparable qualification higher than the AQF Certificate III can be found in the FAQ below.

What is the relevant Australian qualification for my nominated occupation?

The relevant Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) qualification for specific occupations can be found here (PDF 202KB) (PDF 202KB). TRA compares the content of your training (transcripts, syllabus etc.) to the relevant AQF qualification to ensure your training is directly related to your nominated occupation.

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