News & events relating to visa skills assessments

This page will keep you posted on visa skills assessments and closure dates relating to the visa skills assessment process.

Important update: Changes to Skills Assessment fees 2018

New fees for trade skills assessment services come in effect on 16 July 2018. These increases apply to the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS), Offshore Skills Assessment (OSAP) and Trades Recognition Services (TRS) Programs. You can view the current fees under the Fees heading on the Application forms & applicant guides page.

ANZAC Day 2018

The VU Skilled Migration Assessment Services office will be closed on Wednesday 25 April 2018 due to the ANZAC Day Public Holiday.

The office will re-open at 9am on Thursday 26 April.

Easter public holidays office closure

VU Skilled Migration Assessment Services and Trades Recognition Services will be closed from Good Friday 30 March to Easter Tuesday 3 April 2018.

The office re-opens at 9am AEST on Wednesday 4 April 2018.

Important update for skilled migration – March visa reforms

The Australian Government has announced further changes to the temporary and permanent skilled migration program, effective 18 March 2018.

The changes include repealing subclass 457, Temporary Work (Skilled) visa, and replacing with subclass 482, Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.

The Department of Home Affairs has announced a bi-annual review of the skilled migration lists and has outlined visa changes commencing April 2017 (refer to 'Summary of 18 March 2018 changes to the lists of eligible skilled occupations').

RTO recommendation changes April 2018

From 3 April 2018, TRA‑approved RTOs will forward a recommended outcome to Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) to make the final decision following completion of an applicant’s skills assessment.

If TRA agrees with the recommendation, the RTO will notify applicants of the outcome of their assessment and issue appropriate final documentation. If TRA does not agree with the recommendation, TRA and the RTO have 10 business days to reach agreement.

These changes will apply for the 457 Skills Assessment Program, Offshore Skills Assessment Program or Trades Recognition Service. Updated program guidelines will be available on 3 April 2018 on the TRA website.

There is no other change to the application or skills assessment processes.

Government Administration Fee for Trade Skills Assessments (1 October 2017)

A $330 (GST inclusive) Government Administration fee will be charged to all new 457/OSAP and TRS applications from 1 October 2017.

VU SMAS closed for public holiday

VU Skilled Migration Assessment Services and Trades Recognition Services will be closed Friday 29 September 2017 due to the Victorian Grand Final Public Holiday. The office re-opens on Monday 2 October 2017.

Changes to the 457 Program and OSAP (1 July 2017)

On 1 July 2017 the Department of Home Affairs (then called Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)) announced skilled migration reforms. In line with this announcement, from 1 July 2017, passport holders from Bangladesh*, Nepal* and Pakistan* applying for a subclass 457 visa or permanent skilled migration in the occupations of Chef and Cook must have their skills assessed through the Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) 457 Skills Assessment Program or Offshore Skills Assessment Program (OSAP). Please note: It is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm with DIBP that their visa pathway requires a skills assessment before submitting an application. *There are no assessment centres in these countries. Applicants are required to travel to a VU approved assessment centre in Australia or a 457 or OSAP nominated country, such as India or the UAE, for a skills assessment.

Removal of TradeSet (1 July 2017)

From 1 July 2017, Pathway 1 applicants for the 457 Skills Assessment Program (457 Program), Offshore Skills Assessment Program (OSAP) and the Trades Recognition Service (TRS) are no longer required to complete a TradeSet self-evaluation. Updated TRA program applicant guidelines are now available

Applicants are advised to read the updated guidelines before proceeding with a skills assessment.

Closure of the Optional Skills Assessment Service (30 June 2017)

The Optional Skills Assessment Service will close on 30 June 2017. Applicants seeking a skills assessment to access occupational licensing or for employment purposes can be assessed through the Offshore Skills Assessment Program (OSAP). To be eligible, applicants must be able to travel to Australia or an OSAP nominated country for a skills assessment. The OSAP nominated countries are listed on the OSAP Program page on the TRA website.

Changes to skilled visa requirements (18 April 2017)

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (now Department of Home Affairs) announced new requirements around skilled migration on April 18, 2017.

Only certain occupations are approved for use under Australia's permanent and temporary skilled visa programs. It is strongly recommended that you contact the Department of Home Affairs to check if you need a skills assessment for the visa you intend to apply for, and that Trades Recognition Australia is the relevant skills assessing authority before you commence your application.

Further details can be found on the Department of Home Affairs webpage.

Update to the 457 Skills Assessment Program (February 2016)

The China-Australia Free Trades Agreement (ChAFTA) came into force on the 20 December 2015.

Effective from 3 February 2016 applicants with a passport from China will no longer be required to have a skills assessment for the following occupations:

  • Auto Electrician [321111]
  • Cabinetmaker [394111]
  • Carpenter [331212]
  • Carpenter and Joiner [331211]
  • Diesel Motor Mechanic [321212]
  • Electrician (General) [341111]
  • Electrician (Special Class) [341112]
  • Joiner [331213]
  • Motor Mechanic (General) [321211]

Applicants who hold a passport from Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) or Macau SAR are still required to have a 457 skills assessment for these occupations.

Changes to OSAP, OSAS & 457 (from October 2015)

From 23 October 2015: Nominated occupations and countries have changed for OSAP, OSAS and 457. 

If your occupation is removed or your country of passport is removed against your occupation, it is recommended that you use the TRA Pathfinder to help find which TRA Program is suitable for your needs, or contact TRA directly.

Pathway 2 – Licence holders

TRA will now accept a current, identified Australian Occupational Licence under Pathway 2. The licenses must be unrestricted.  

If you have more than one license please provide licenses for all States and Territories in which you have worked.

You must be able to demonstrate at least 3 years full time paid employment, including 12 months full time paid employment in the nominated trade in the 3 years prior to lodging your application.

For applicants applying with a current licence this 12 months of employment must be in Australia.

Upcoming skills assessments

Electrician, Plumber and Airconditioning & Refrigeration Mechanic

Find out more about upcoming practical skills assessment dates for electrical & plumbing.


Find out more about upcoming practical demonstration dates for hairdressing.

Chef, Cook & Pastrycook

Find out more about upcoming practical demonstration dates for hospitality.

Other skills assessments

  • Carpenter, Joiner, Bricklayer and Cabinetmaker
  • Metal (Engineering) trades

Contact us

For further information on dates and skills assessments or to enquire about the possibility of a practical demonstration, contact the Skilled Migration Assessment Services team.