In our last edition Part 1 of "Employment", we covered the basics surrounding the meaning of employment particularly the 20 hour week requirement.
We are still discussing the requirements regarding Schedule 6D where you will be asking for a particular points score to obtain your residency. If you missed Volume 322 you can read it here.
Refusal if your points fall short of what you claimed.
We need to remind applicants not to try and claim points they do not think they can actually be granted because your application will end up in the trash can if your wrong;
"The applicant's score, when assessed in relation to the visa under Subdivision B of Division 3 of Part 2 of the Act, is not less than the score stated in the invitation to apply for the visa."
There are no second chances with this law and no pleas to your case officer will make any difference. Even though your point score may reach the pass mark, if you don't reach what you claimed in your EOI then it is all over.
Consecutive or Cumulative
In relation to the minimum 20 hours per week the periods of work claimed, they do not need to be consecutive. The DIBP expanded the time frame to accumulate the work experience to a generous 10 years.
Jim came to Australia to complete his Masters degree. During his studies he was lucky to obtain part time contract work in his profession. During his semesters he was too busy to work more than 10 hours per week but on his holidays he worked more than 20 hours per week.
It took Jim three years to complete the Masters and during this time he had accumulated a total of 30 weeks where his hours met the minimum 20 hour per week requirement. At the end of his degree he was offered full time employment. Jim applied for the Graduate Work 485 visa and in just another 22 weeks he was ready to claim the 5 points for Australian work experience having reached the 52 week threshold.
Skill assessments and work claims
In claiming work experience points it is not a requirement that you must have obtained a formal skill assessment before this period of work began. That is really common sense since many overseas workers have never heard about what a skill assessment means.
However these days most skill assessment bodies can assess your work experience that you have done in the past. Whilst it is not a legal requirement that you do this you may find your DIBP case officer request that you undertake this process after you have applied.
The assessment bodies will examine your past work experience based upon the information you provide them, for example work reference letters and perhaps your own declarations. They will then write back to you with an assessment of you had worked at a skill level they believe is suitable to your nominated occupation.
The DIBP case officer will generally follow what the skill assessment body states on their assessment. It is probable they will not listen to individual applicants arguments to the contrary. It is wiser then to obtain these work experience assessments before your application is lodged to save yourself the potential of a great deal of stress, not to mention the loss of a considerable amount of money in application fees.
Valid skill assessments
On the 1st July 2014 the DIBP introduced a law enforcing the validity of how long skill assessments for migration purposes can remain valid. It is now 3 years maximum. However if the skill assessment authority says a shorter period, then this period will be in force.
In the past many skill assessment letters were issued with no expiry of their validity and some were issued with 5 years validity.
Does Employment need to be in your nominated occupation?
There is provision within the regulations that the applicants employment can be in a "closely related " occupation. Now this is where things get interesting.
Closely related is not defined in the regulations, it is a policy decision that regulates what case officers can accept. In general, closely related occupations are judged by using the ANZSCO publication we discussed in Part 1.
The occupation you are claiming to be closely related to your nominated occupation must have the same first 4 digits of the ANZSCO code as yours but does not necessarily need to be on either the SOL or CSOL.
System Administrator ANZSCO 262113
The first 4 digits of ANZSCO indicate what group of occupations you belong to. In this case it is; UNIT GROUP 2621 DATABASE AND SYSTEMS ADMINISTRATORS, AND ICT SECURITY SPECIALISTS. Then within this group the last two digits identify what is your specialization.
These are the other specializations within your group that you would be able to claim as work experience that is closely related;
262111 Database Administrator
262112 ICT Security Specialist
Many readers may feel that such a policy is too restrictive, particularly those in the IT profession who often move around in IT related jobs outside their 4 digit ANZSCO prison. We agree but we don't make the policy I'm afraid.
The Human Capital Exceptions
The DIBP have tried to modernize themselves on using fad words such as Human Capital. It describes cases where applicants may have started in their nominated occupation but grown in their potential and taken up supervisory roles and then management positions within their field.
These situations are accepted under policy as closely related even though applicants are really working well outside their first 4 digit ANZSCO code in management roles. Though on face value it doesn't seem really fair but I guess there is some logic behind it but it may become a murky grey swamp to get caught in if your case is not straight forward.
Applicants who meet this policy will be granted work experience points for they have increased their quota of Human Capital. They will have reached a heightened level of professionalism within their field and thus this will bring more enlightened and enhanced individuals to reside in Australia. Amen
For example you may have started as in the example above Systems Administrator 262113 and worked your way the ladder over the years to ANZSCO 135111 Chief Information Officer. The first 4 digits indicate this is an entirely different group of occupations but it can be accepted under policy even if it is not on the SOL or CSOL.
Maximum of 20 Points
Now you may have been a busy bee over the last ten years working both in Australia and overseas in your occupation but unfortunately the maximum points you can claim can only be 20. Sorry.
Vincent has worked overseas as an Engineer for 15 years. He was sponsored to work in Australia for the last 5 years before he applied for his residency. Although the points table seems to indicate he can gain 25 points (15 points for Australian work + 10 points for O/S work) for work experience, sadly he can only obtain 20.
The DIBP GSM online application form prevents applicants from claiming more than 20 points.
Unlawful Employment Excluded
Any periods of work which has been undertaken in Australia can only be counted if the applicant held a BVA, BVB or substantive visa. You must have also complied with the condition of that visa.
Immigration policy states;
"A Student visa holder who was subject to a condition that they not work more than 40 hours a fortnight but who was employed in their nominated skilled occupation for 45 hours a fortnight while their course was in session could not use that employment to claim points under Schedule 6D. "