5 Dec 2015

Visa Tips For Tradespeople Migrating To Australia

Are you a tradesperson seeking to start a brand new life in Australia? Here’s some practical advice and handy tips to get you started on the path to migrating to Australia as a tradesperson.

Skilled Occupation List

One of the first steps is to define what occupations are defined with the tradespeople category for visa purposes. According to the Skilled Occupation List, there are ten different categories for tradespeople, covering a multitude of different professions. The categories are as follows: Metalworking, Mechanical and Precision Trades; Automotive; Electrical, Electronic and Refrigeration; Building and Plumbing; Food Preparation; Gardening; Printing; Wood Tradespersons; Clothing/Textiles; and Other. Each category can have upwards of a dozen different professions listed so it’s important to consult the Skilled Occupations List carefully to check that your job qualifies.


There are certain criteria for working as a tradesperson in Australia. As well as possessing a pertinent qualification and completing a qualifying training period, you need to also have been working in your trade for a minimum of three years. With regard to your qualification, it needs to be a formal examination carried out by a government-approved body in the country in which you are moving from. You will need to supply evidence that you possess the certificate or diploma. Prior to this examination, you should have served an apprenticeship of at least a three-year duration. You will need to supply evidence that an apprenticeship contract was in place between yourself and your employer.

As mentioned above, you will need to have worked in your chosen trade for at least three years after completing your apprenticeship which makes it six years in total when you factor in your apprenticeship. You will also be required to prove that you have been remunerated in your chosen profession for a minimum of 12 out of the previous 18 months before applying for your visa. You will have to have carried out the complete spectrum of different tasks generally conducted by your Australian tradesperson counterpart. Assessment criteria according to the Central Trades Committee include breadth or depth of knowledge, range of skills, variability of operating environment, and level autonomy required to perform the set of tasks.

If you don’t have a trade apprenticeship, don’t panic! Provided you have been working full time in your profession for a minimum of six years, it can still be possible to apply for a working visa provided certain requirements are met. You must be able to prove you have been employed for this amount of time and you must also have undergone some measure of vocational training in your profession. As is typical, you will need documented evidence to back up these criteria.


For certain professions, a practical test is in place as part of a three-stage offshore assessment procedure, carried out by Trades Recognition Australia. The first step is self-assessment; this is a complimentary tool, which you can use to determine whether or not you are suitable for the full assessment procedure. The next step is a pre-assessment, which takes into account your qualifications and work experience in your profession. Finally, the practical component of the assessment is comprised of a technical interview and practical assessments. The professions for which the practical test applies to are: General Electrician; General Plumber; Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic; Motor Mechanic; Bricklayer; Carpenter and Joiner; Electrical Powerline Tradesperson; Electrical Cable Jointer; Diesel Motor Mechanic; Electronic Equipment Trades Worker; Metal Fabricator; Sheet Metal Trades Worker; Vehicle Painter; Welder (First Class); and Electrical Linesworker.

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Visas


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