Australian Computer Society (ACS) Process & Charges

The Australian Computers Society (ACS) will only assess your application if your educational qualifications and work experience are closely related to the nominated occupation for the purpose of migration.

The process begins with your education being assessed and determines its AQF comparability according to Australian educational standards.

After the AQF comparability, your courses are divided into parts, which are individually assessed to find some relevancy with the ACT ICT professional units.

This assessment will determine if your profile falls under the Major, Minor or non-relevant category.

The third part of the process involves assessing the ICT units to find relevancy of your profiles against the AZNSCO immigration code.

Once the assessments of your qualifications are done, you will get a clear picture about how much work experience you need in order to meet the suitability criteria.

The Applicant Process for ACS

Before beginning the application process, it is advised that you understand your Visa requirements set by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. If you are not applying for the Visa on your own but hiring a MARA agent, you need to get familiar with the services they provide for successful application processing.

You need to check if your educational qualifications and work experience is closely related to ANZSCO code. You can use the ANZSCO code information document for checking your verification. The ANZSCO code information document includes course unit descriptions and employment duties that ACS uses to assess against the nominated occupation.

Once you are done with the verifications above, you can go forward to submitting your documents online in PDF format. There are certain things you need to keep in mind before submitting the documents.

  • You need to consolidate all pages of your documents into a single PDF file. The PDF file should contain proofs of your educational qualifications and work experience.
  • The documents you scan should be scanned at low resolution and not exceeding the 200 DPI mark.
  • The maximum file size of the PDF per upload is 3MB.
  • Lastly, your PDF file should not be password protected or neither should it be assigned Read-Only property.

After successful evaluation, the ACS will issue result letter to you via email in PDF format. You can go forward to submit your file to DIBP as evidence of your ICT skills assessment.

Choosing Migration Agents for ACS

When you are not aware about the process of immigration and skills assessment, you might want to consider hiring a migration agent. A migration agent can ease your trouble and will take the responsibility of filing your ACT assessment.

You can hire a migration agent, who can submit your ICT skills assessment on your behalf. Now it comes down to you if you want to hire an agent or want to submit the documents on your own.

Meet your Suitability Criteria for ACS

You need to be aware about how genuine your documents are before submitting them online to initiate the assessment by ACS.

Mentioned below is a table that describes the suitability criteria, requirement, etc for ACS.

Criteria Requirement Required Year of Experience Deductions
Temporary Graduate – 485 Skills Assessment Australian Bachelor degree or higher with a major in ICT 0 0
Post Australian Study Skills Assessment Australian Bachelor degree or higher with a major in ICT 1 year of relevant work experience OR Completion of an ACS Professional Year Program 0
Bachelor Degree or Higher with an ICT Major 2 years of relevant work experience within past 10 years 2 Years 2 Years of deduction and you can claim points for rest experience (closely related to your nominated
occupation)
Bachelor Degree or Higher with an ICT Major If you hold less than 2 years of relevant work experience in your recent 10 years of employment then you need to have total 4 years of relevant work experience in major ICT, in your total employment 4 Years 4 Years of deduction and you can claim points for rest of relevant experience (closely related to your nominated
occupation)
Bachelor Degree or Higher with an ICT Minor 5 years of relevant work experience within past 10 years 5 Years 5 Years of deduction and you can claim points for rest experience (closely related to your nominated
occupation)
Bachelor Degree or Higher with an ICT Minor If you hold less than 6 years of relevant work experience in your recent 10 years of employment then you need to have total 4 years of relevant work experience in major ICT, in your total employment 6 Years 6 Years of deduction and you can claim points for rest of relevant experience (closely related to your nominated
occupation)
Diploma and Vendor Certification 5 years of relevant work experience within past 10 years 5 Years 5 Years of deduction and you can claim points for rest experience (closely related to your nominated
occupation)
Diploma and Vendor Certification If you hold less than 6 years of relevant work experience in your recent 10 years of employment then you need to have total 4 years of relevant work experience in major ICT, in your total employment 6 Years 6 Years of deduction and you can claim points for rest of relevant experience (closely related to your nominated
occupation)
Non ICT Diploma or Higher 6 Years of relevant work experience and a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) application 6 Years 6 Years of deduction and you can claim points for rest of relevant experience (closely related to your nominated
occupation)
No Tertiary Educational Qualifications 8 Years of relevant work experience and a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) application 8 Years 8 Years of deduction and you can claim points for rest of relevant experience (closely related to your nominated
occupation)

Skill Level Requirement Met Date

ACS calculates the skill level requirement met date after it assesses the candidate’s relevant qualification and work experience. Once the ACS assigns the skill level requirement met date for a candidate, any experience gathered post that date would be considered skilled employment.

The skill level met date depends upon both relevant work experience and qualification.

Applications Assessed by ACS

There are 4 types of applications that ACS assesses as given below:

  1. Temporary Graduate – 485 Skills Assessment
  2. Post Australian Study Skills Assessment
  3. Skills Assessment
  4. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Temporary Graduate – 485 Skills Assessment

This assessment if for graduates who have completed an Australian Bachelor degree and are looking to apply for the 485 Visa.

Post Australian Study Skills Assessment

The Post Australian study skills assessment is a program for graduates, who hold an Australian bachelors degree and are now looking for migration. The candidate will require having relevant ICT employment or completion of an ACS Professional year program.

Skills Assessment for ACS

This program assesses the applications from tertiary qualifications and work experience relevant to ICT.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

The RPL application is for candidates who do not possess sufficient ICT, or applications having no tertiary qualifications.

The candidate will need to provide 6 years of work experience, which is closely related to ICT standards. If the candidate does not possess a work experience that is not related to ICT standards or have no qualification at all, he will need to have 8 years of work experience.

Along with the submission of the RPL report, the candidate is also required to submit two project report proofs.

The Recognition of Prior Learning should be written and submitted by you and not by any other person, paid writing business or editing agency.

In case, the RPL does not prove to be yours, it will be considered unsuitable assessment and be noted as fraudulent activity by DIBP.

Uploading Documents Online

A candidate’s ICT skills assessment will be based on the documents he submits into the online application form.

Before applying into the online application, you should make sure that all your qualification and employment documents are ready. This means that all your documents must meet ACS requirements to allow full assessment by ACS.

Misleading or false information submitted into the online application will be considered fake and will be reported to DIBP.

How to prepare your documents before uploading into the online application form

  1. You should organize your paper documents you need to submit in the online application form.
  2. Create copies of your original documents.
  3. Get your applications certified by an authorized person.
  4. Scan your documents and convert them into PDF file before uploading into the application form.
  5. Upload your PDF converted files into the application form.

Documents Required

  1. Birth certificate or Passport.
  2. Degree or award transcript.
  3. Employment references.
  4. If you apply for the RPL report, you will need to submit an ACS RPL form.

You will need to provide supporting bachelors degree, if you have a masters degree.

Check Your Application Status

After submitting your application in the online application form, you will receive an email on your registered email address consisting of your application reference number and password instructions. This can be used to check your application status.

Getting Documents Certified By Authorized Notary…

The documents to be submitted in the ACS online application form are required to be certified by an authorized notary authority that cross checks the documents and if true, signs and stamps the copy of the document. This signifies that your documents are true and legitimate.

The certified copy of the document should consist:

  • The copy of the documents should consist the words Certified True Copy of the Original.
  • The signature of the certified person is required on the document.
  • The date and name should be included with the document.
  • The registered number and the title of the certified person should be mentioned.
  • The certified details should be easy to read and legible.

How to certify documents within Australia

  • A registered migration agent can certify your documents. A registered migration agent can be a justice of the peace or bail justice.
  • An Australian lawyer who is a member of police force and is recognized as an authorized public notary.
  • A sheriff or a deputy sheriff can certify your documents.
  • A senior officer of a council who is a medical practitioner can certify your documents.
  • A dentist, veterinary practitioner or a pharmacist can certify your documents.
  • A principal in a teaching service or a minister of religion authorized to celebrate marriages can certify your documents.
  • A member or former member of the House of Parliament or the Commonwealth can certify your documents.

How to get your documents certified outside Australia

An authorized notary authority in your country’s origin can certify your documents. Legal consultants and embassies can provide you information regarding certification of your documents outside Australia.

Translation of Documents

All documents that are not in English are required to be translated. Both original copy and the translated copy should be signed certified by an authorized notary authority.

Conducting Translation of Documents within Australia

The National Accreditation Authority can translate documents in Australia for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI).

Conducting Translation of Documents outside of Australia

Translation of documents outside Australia can be done by:

  • A ministry of Justice or equivalent from where the qualification as obtained.
  • The Australian Education International Section (AEIS) at an Australian Diplomatic Mission.
  • An Australian High Commission, consulate or an embassy
  • Any private or commercial translator
  • The documents awarding institution

Translation conducted overseas must be conducted on an official organization letterhead and include an official stamp, the translator’s name, signature and telephone number should be printed on the document.

It should be easier for ACS to contact the respective translator in case of any query.

Qualifications

The qualifications acquired both in Australia and overseas are assessed for a general and RPL type skills assessments. Temporary Graduate – 485 and the Post Australian Study type skills assessments require an Australian qualification to meet the suitability criteria.

Assessment of ICT Content in Tertiary Qualifications

Qualifications are assessed in terms of either having an ICT major or minor. Any ICT content that is less that ICT minor is considered non-relevant ICT qualification.

ICT Major Criteria

Any diploma, advanced diploma or an associate degree must meet at least 50% ICT content.

A diploma, advanced diploma or an associate degree not meeting 50% ICT content is assessed as Non-ICT qualification.

A bachelor’s degree must have the following relevancy to be considered eligible for ICT content:

  • 33% ICT content for a 3-year course.
  • 25% ICT content for 4-year course.
  • 20% ICT content for 5-year course.

The ICT content should be in progressing order with the final year being at an advanced professional level.

ICT Minor Criteria

Qualifications with the ICT content is at two thirds of the requirement of the major is considered ICT Minor.

Non-Relevant ICT Content

All qualifications that does not meet ICT minor are considered ICT non-relevant content.

ANZSCO ICT Content

All educational content should meet 65% of the ICT content in order to meet ANZSCO ICT Content suitability criteria.

Statement of Marks

Statement of marks for all qualifications pursued should be hierarchical and legends should be mentioned along with the statement of marks for better clarification and understanding.

Completed Qualification but did not receive degree

In case a candidate has completed his education but has not yet received his degree can still be able to apply. The candidate will need to provide an official document that states that he has completed all requirements and is eligible to be awarded the degree.

Vendor Certifications

The following vendor certificates are accepted by ACS which is comparable to graduate outcome of an ICT Major.

Microsoft Certification

Certifications should be valid at the time of submission in the ACS application. If the certification is no longer listed under the legacy of Microsoft, ACS cannot assess the certification.

The list of acceptable certifications is as follows:

  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert – All certifications.
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer – All certifications.

Cisco Certification

ACS accepts Cisco certifications but all eligible Cisco certificates should be valid during the time of submission.

The lists of acceptable Cisco certifications are as follows:

  • Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) – All tracks
  • Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP)
  • Cisco Certified Voice Professional (CCVP)
  • Cisco Certified Security Professional (CCSP)
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Professional (CCIP)

Cisco Expert:

  • Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert (CCIE) – All tracks
  • Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE)

Cisco Architect

  • Cisco Certified Architect

Employment Requirements for ACS

A candidate’s work experience should be at a professional ICT level and should stand against nominated occupation list in order to be assessed by ACS.

Employment completed after skill assessment met date will only be counted as Skilled Employment. Work experience before skill assessment met date will not be counted.

While applying for ACS assessment, 65% of job duties performed should closely match nominated occupation list (ANZSCO).

Employment References

Each Employment reference must contain:

  • The start and finish date of the employment. This should be mentioned in a DD/MM/YY format.
  • The reference should contain the roles and duties performed during the employment. This will be used to evaluate the relevance of work experience to the nominated occupation.
  • Number of hours worked which can be full-time and part-time. A minimum of 20 hours of work per week is required.
  • The reference should mention the country where the employment was undertaken.
  • The reference should be written on the company’s letter head and should be undersigned by the author.
  • The reference should be certified as a valid copy by an authorized notary.

Full-time work will only be considered if the candidate completed 20 hours of working time per week. Any working time less than 20 hours per week will not be assessed by ACS.

The references submitted to ACS must contain specific information from the employer about the roles and duties performed by the candidate during his employment with the employer. References that fail to provide a clear picture of the details will be assessed as not suitable.

The reference letter should clearly mention the country the candidate was employed in. If the candidate was employed in multiple countries, the reference letter should contain the name of all those countries with the start and end date of the employment.

Generic job description mentioned in the reference letter will not be assessed. Clear and detailed information of the jobs and duties performed should be stated in the reference letter.

The candidate’s employer should sign reference letter or the person authorized for making the reference letter. The name, sign and contact number of the person making the reference letter for the candidate should be mentioned.

Mentioned below are the reference letter formats that are not acceptable:

  • If the referee shows unclear relationship with the applicant.
  • Reference letter written on a plain paper with a business card attached.
  • Reference letter written on a plain paper by an authorized notary authority but does not contain the signature of the referee.

Much clear picture of the same can be had from the image below:

Statutory Declarations and Affidavit for ACS

If the employee fails to arrange the reference letter from his employer, he can ask his manager or work colleague to write the third party official legal documents.

A statutory declaration or affidavit is a legally written document signed by an authorized notary.

Self Employed Applicants Applying for ACS

Self-employment is when the applicant owns or runs his own business as an individual or in partnership.

Self-employed applicants can submit their own formal statutory documents or affidavits that contain:

  • Beginning and ending dates of the self-employment.
  • The occupation of the employment and the capacity of the same.
  • Nature of the work.
  • Number of staffs employed and their occupations if applicable.

Documents to be included:

  • Business registration certificates covering all periods of self-employment.
  • A letterhead from the candidate’s accountant or legal representative mentioning the name of the company and the nature of the work.
  • Client statements mentioning the details of work performed.

Application Information

Priority Request

The priority request if for Visa declaration deadline which is less than 12 weeks from the date of application.

The proof of visa deadline must be uploaded in a PDF format to have the request approved.

Examples of PDF scanned documents that can be used as proof of evidence:

  • Passport Visa stamp showing the deadline date.
  • Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) webpage showing visa expiry date.
  • DIBP email notification showing the grant of Visa.

Application Status

After completing the Online Assessment, the candidate will receive an email on his registered email address with instructions on how to access the ACS website. The progress of the application can be tracked by using the online application status of ACS.

Application Processing Time

It takes about 6-8 weeks for the completion of ACS Skills Assessment.

All documents are processed much quickly. Generally, it takes about 6-8 weeks to process the applications.

Payment Methods

The accepted methods of payment modes are as follows:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express

Additional Fees

There are eight episodes per application to be assessed. The first eight episodes do not levy any extra charges but any assessment after the eight stages will charge 80$.

Refunds and Withdrawals

Payments cannot be refunded after preliminary work or assessment has commenced.

Review Application

A candidate can request a review of his application if he is not satisfied with his outcome of the skilled assessment result. During this process, the candidate can change his nominated occupation or include additional work experience or qualifications to update the results.

The review process of the documents involves reassessment of the entire documents by adding any additional work experience of qualifications. The re-assessment is conducted by a senior Skills assessor with focus on the unsatisfactory comments or reasons made by the candidate.

A review application can only be submitted within 60 days of receiving the skills assessment result letter. After the 60 days perio, a new application is to be submitted.

Reasons to Review the Application

  • To be assessed under a differed ANZSCO code.
  • If the applicant wishes to submit additional documents to update the results.
  • In order to re-evaluate your ACS Skills assessment results.

Review Details

  • A review fee of 395$ AUD is charged upon reviewing the documents.
  • The candidate is requested to upload additional documents for review application.
  • A review cannot be completed if the result has already been used for Migration.

Appeal Application

A candidate can appeal against ACS if he thinks that the review is not right and there is a mistake made from ACS. The candidate will need to pay the review fee and if the review results positive, the candidate’s appeal money will be refunded.