Incentive 2 - Skills Assessment Opportunities for Migrants (SAOM) Pilot FAQs

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Why is the SAOM Pilot being offered?

To assist with Australia’s economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19 and to fill skills shortages, the Australian Government is introducing three incentives to maximise the contribution of Australia’s onshore migrant workforce where there is a shortage of skilled labour. The SAOM Pilot is one of these. You can find further information at Skills Assessment Pilots.

What is the SAOM Pilot?

The SAOM Pilot is offered to migrants who are residing in Australia and are on a permanent family, partner, refugee or humanitarian visa. The Pilot offers a free, fast-tracked skills assessment for migrants with unrecognised skills in priority occupations. Applicants who receive a suitable outcome in their assessment can use this to improve their employment options in their nominated occupation, through improved employer confidence that the applicant has the skills necessary for working in an Australian workplace.

How do I know if I am eligible for a free skills assessment?

You may be eligible if you:

  • can apply for a skills assessment in a priority occupation on or after 28 February 2022,
  • have not previously undergone a migrant skills assessment for the nominated occupation,
  • are residing in Australia at the time you submit your skills assessment application, and
  • are in Australia on a permanent family, partner, humanitarian or refugee visa that was granted on or after 1 January 2016.

SOAM Priority Occupations assessed by TRA are:

ANZSCO Reference



Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics)


Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical)


Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Structures)






Butcher or Smallgoods Maker






Electrician (General)


Electrician (Special Class)


Landscape Gardener




Metal Fabricator




Pressure Welder


Sheetmetal Trades Worker


Welder (First Class)


Mechanical Engineering Technician


Print Finisher


Screen Printer



SOAM Eligible Visa types are:

Visa categories

Visa subclasses eligible for –SAOM Pilot

Family and partner visas

Adoption visa (subclass 102)


Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 114)


Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclass 838)


Aged Parent visa (subclass 804)


Carer visa (subclass 836)


Carer visa (subclass 116)


Child visa (subclass 101)


Child visa (subclass 802)


Contributory Aged Parent visa (subclass 864)


Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143)


New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (temporary) visa (subclass 461)


Orphan Relative (subclass 117)


Orphan Relative (subclass 837)


Partner (Provisional and Migrant) visa (subclass 309)


Parent visa (subclass 103) 


Partner visa (subclass 100)


Partner visa (subclass 801)


Partner visa (subclass 820)


Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300)


Remaining Relative visa (subclass 115)


Remaining Relative visa (subclass 835)


Interdependency (subclass 110 and 814)


Designated Parent (subclass 118 and 859)

Refugee and humanitarian visas

Global Special Humanitarian (subclass 202)


Protection visa (subclass 866)


Refugee visas (subclass 200, 201, 203 and 204)


Temporary Protection visa (subclass 785)


Safe Haven Enterprise visa (subclass 790)


Temporary visa for Ukraine and surrounding areas (subclass 786)


Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visas (subclass 449)

Refer to the Pilot 2 - Skills Assessment Opportunities for Migrants Applicant Guidelines (SAOM Pilot Application Guidelines) for further information.

         You are not eligible for the SAOM if you:

  • are currently residing in a country other than Australia
  • have previously undergone a migrant skills assessment, including an unsuccessful outcome
  • you are the primary holder of a skilled migration visa
  • applying for a 485 visa - please refer to the Job Ready Program on the TRA website

What is the purpose of an outcome through the SAOM Pilot?

A successful Skills Assessment outcome letter issued through the SAOM Pilot can be shown to employers to improve their confidence that the applicant has the skills necessary for working in an Australian workplace.

Note employers may undertake their own verification and further documentation requests.

Can I use a SAOM Pilot outcome for a permanent residence visa?

No. A successful SAOM Outcome can be used for employment purposes only. It is not suitable for migration purposes.

How long will a SAOM Pilot assessment take?

TRA generally aims to finalise your SAOM assessment in 15 business days. Your application can only be fast tracked if all the available documents are submitted as decision ready. If TRA needs to contact you for additional evidence to complete your assessment and if verifications are required, this will lead to delays with your assessment outcome.

How do I apply for the SAOM Pilot?

To determine your eligibility for a free skills assessment you must first read through the eligibility requirements found in (SAOM Pilot Application Guidelines) on the TRA website.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be required to complete the SAOM Pilot application form, employer templates/self-employment templates (where applicable) and submit them along with your supporting evidence via email to SAOM Pilot Inbox There is no provision to lodge a SAOM Pilot application through TRA’s online portal.

How will I know if you have registered my application?

Once your documents have been received by email and registered, TRA will issue you with an email acknowledgement.

Is there an English Language Test requirement for the SAOM Pilot? (Such as IELTS).

No. An English language test is not required for the SAOM Pilot.

I have an unsuccessful migrant skills assessment outcome previously issued by TRA. Can I apply under the SAOM incentive?

No. You will not be able to apply for the SAOM Pilot if you have already had a migrant skills assessment for your nominated occupation, even if your assessment was unsuccessful.

Can I use the successful skills assessment outcome under the SAOM Pilot for qualification recognition purposes?

No. A successful skills assessment under the SAOM Pilot is not intended for specific qualification recognition purposes, however it can be used for employment purposes.

I have an unsuccessful skills assessment outcome under the SAOM Pilot. How do I apply for a review?

Yes. If you wish to apply for a review of your unsuccessful SAOM Pilot outcome you will be required to pay a fee.

The SAOM Pilot is a subsidised service with no fee charged to applicants for the skills assessment. TRA does charge fees for a skills assessment review or Technical and Practical reassessment components.

Information on SAOM Fees can be found in Section 1.5 of the SAOM Applicant Guidelines

Information on how to apply for a review will be included in your unsuccessful outcome letter.

More information regarding the review process and fee requirements are outlined in the SAOM Pilot Applicant Guidelines

Please contact TRA at SAOM Pilot Inbox if you wish to apply for a reassessment.

Where can I find more information regarding the SAOM Pilot assessment requirements?

More information regarding the eligibility and assessment requirements can be found in the SAOM Pilot Applicant Guidelines on the TRA website.