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Migrating To Australia Without Formal Qualifications

Did you know that even if you don’t have any formal qualifications, if you have 5 years work experience in your Trade you may still be eligible for skilled migration to Australia.

Trade Work Experience Requirement

Your 5 years work experience may also include a period of training. If you are self-employed, you still may be eligible, but will need to provide more documents.

Eligible Occupations

Only certain occupations are available for this pathway – Skilled Occupation List (SOL) trades that may be eligible include:

  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Plumbers
  • Air-conditioning and refrigeration Mechanics
  • Motor Mechanics
  • Metal Fabricators
  • Welders
  • Bricklayers

Application Process

Main stages of the application for General Skilled Migration are as follows:

  1. Skills Assessment
  2. Lodge Expression of Interest (EOI)
  3. State Nomination (if required)
  4. Visa application

The first step is to get your skills assessed. This is a 2 step process and will involve a paper application and then either a technical or practical assessment of your skills in your home country or Australia if you are reside in Australia already.

Unlike other visas types that enable you to move enter Australia, you must be invited to apply for General Skilled Migration through the SkillSelect EOI system.

This is a critical stage of the process, but tradespersons generally progress through the system quite quickly with many eligible trade applicants receiving an invitation within a few weeks of having their skills assessed.

To be eligible for General Skilled Migration, you will need to pass a points test – if you have a significant amount of work experience, this can help in meeting the pass mark. You also receive points for age, English language ability and if you have a skilled spouse.

Once the invitation is received, you have 60 days to lodge your application for migration to Australia. Immigration will review your eligibility and ask for health and police clearances prior to grant of the permanent visa.


If you are a tradesperson with at least 5 years of work experience in your occupation, you may have a very good chance of migrating to Australia through the General Skilled Migration pathway.

More Information

Trades Recognition Australia – Offshore Skills Assessment Program

Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia.

Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assitance, Getting Down Under.

If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Forums

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  1. I am Ashok from India,

    I have completed my bachelor of Arts in 2008 after that I started job as an electrician and now
    I have 8 years of experience in General Electrician but didn’t hold formal qualification and also contacted with vetassess in New Delhi they also told me that they only require 4 years of work experience in trade occupation and it is not mandatory for having qualification in trade related occupation.

    But I’m little confused as I have B.A degree which is not relevant with my occupation, can I claim for 15 points for the points for qualification while applying EOI.
    If yes, does visa officer refused my application for having not relevant qualification?

    or If I didn’t show my B.A qualification then what points will be awarded for qualification?
    As per the Vetassess in New Delhi they informed me that after successful completion of skill assessment they will provide certificate level 3 or 4 as per having my skills, is this certificate be count as 10 points in qualification points?

  2. Hi I’m Lipson from India. I’m working as a welder with expirience in India also abroad too. How I can apply for this

  3. Hello. My name is William. I’m considering strongly moving to Australia. My job as of now is with NJ American Water, I’m a surface water treatment plant operator / maintenance mechanic (12+yrs). I couldn’t find anything on the SOL list that covers my field. Please advise if possible

    • Hi William, having a role on the SOL is a pre-requisite for most skilled visa classes unfortunately.

      Mechanic based roles are on the SOL, do you have any transferable skills?

  4. Hi I have a sister who is a Australian citizen and has been living on the Gold coast for the past 10yrs an Aunt that’s also an Australian citizen and has been living in Brisbane for the past 30yrs and an Uncle who’s is also an Australian citizen and has been living in Adel aide for the past 30yrs my point is would it still be differcult to move to Australia.Me and my family are currently living in Norway.

  5. Good morning sir/ma’am..
    One of my greatest dream is to work and live in Australia with my wife and my two children
    I hope i have a chance to do so..
    And hoping your good office can help me..
    Thank you and more power ..
    God bless!

  6. Dear sir,
    I am vigneshwaran am D.M.E holder I have three years this field. Then I have know to computer operating and good comunication knowledges so please give me a job sir., I will waiting for your reply.please help me.
    Thanking you,

  7. Well does no qualifications apply to Aussie citizens? No didn’t think so. What a load of crap this is so unfair to aussies! There are around 700,000 out of work and under 200,000 jobs. And the ‘unemployed’ figure isn’t including casual workers who may only get 3 hours of work a week like myself!
    What the hell is going on!

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