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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I am an Australian- trained Occupational Therapist (OT) and my 485 visa application was refused in March due to the reason of not satisfying with 485.223 which specify:

When the application was made, it was accompanied by evidence that the applicant had applied for an assessment of the applicant’s skills for the nominated skilled occupation by a relevant assessing authority.

I was confused whether my professional registration would be counted as the Skills Assessment because the registration standards are fairly similar to the requirements of the skills assessment. As such, I answered "NO" to the question regarding whether I have applied for a Skills Assessment but the system still let me through and directed me to the skills assessment section to give further details. I found an option called "Council of Occupational Therapist Registration Board Inc" and I thought that was referring to the OT registration board under AHPRA. As a result, I selected that and provided details extracted from the AHPRA receipt. I also uploaded the AHPRA receipt as evidence. In ealy Feb, the Department corresponded me and gave me 28 days to provide the skills assessment but it did not mentioned that the registration I applied did not count as the skills assessment.

I rang the Immigration Department and the lady was still unable to confirm if I need to do the skills assessment while I am a registered OT and advised me to e-mail the processing officers directly. Unfortunately, I did not have any response from the Department. In mid-Feb, I uploaded my registration certificate up to the system and notified the Department.

In late Feb, I received another correspondence from the department clarifying that the registration did not fullfill the requirement of skills assessment and requesting me to provide a skills assessment issued by OT council in 7 days. I responded immediately by e-mail to notify the Department I will organise it at the end of the week due to financial hardship. I received the receipt from OTC on the 8 Mar 2018, however, they rejected my application on the same day and I could not upload it to the system.

I felt unfair for the visa refusal because the misunderstanding was purely caused by the system errors and miscommunication. Beside, I found that the processing officer miscalculate the days for responding the request on the second letter they sent me. Consequently, I applied for an AAT review. Did anyone experience similar situation in the past and went through the AAT review? What is usual processing time for the case to be reviewed by an AAT member? How to increase my chance of success in the review? Thank you so much and any opinions, thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

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When did you get your first student visa? From what you say it looks like it was before 5 November 2011, otherwise, you could have applied in the post-study work stream for the two years 485, that stream doesn't need a skills assessment, whereas the of the Graduate Stream 18 month visa does need a skills assessment.

I suggest that you find out exactly where you stand to see whether you have a chance of winning. The AAT is not a fairy god-mother who will listen to your story with tears in their eyes and grant your dearest wish. They will see whether the Department made the correct decision based on the criteria set out in the regulations for that visa. It is better to invest in a consultation with an experienced agent that to spend $1,736 on applying to the AAT. Once you find out exactly where you stand you plan your next step.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
When did you get your first student visa? From what you say it looks like it was before 5 November 2011, otherwise, you could have applied in the post-study work stream for the two years 485, that stream doesn't need a skills assessment, whereas the of the Graduate Stream 18 month visa does need a skills assessment.

I suggest that you find out exactly where you stand to see whether you have a chance of winning. The AAT is not a fairy god-mother who will listen to your story with tears in their eyes and grant your dearest wish. They will see whether the Department made the correct decision based on the criteria set out in the regulations for that visa. It is better to invest in a consultation with an experienced agent that to spend $1,736 on applying to the AAT. Once you find out exactly where you stand you plan your next step.
Hi Jeremy, thank you for your reply. I got my first student visa in January 2014 and I just graduated in December 2017. My standings would be pointing directly to the Department's system errors, misleading information and miscommunication. The thing is I have already applied for the AAT review and submitted the evidence and my arguments up onto the system. However, I need some advice as to what else I can potentially do to increase my chance of winning. I rang the OTC on Friday and they told me it would probably take 2-3 years for them to start viewing my case. Since I just started working, I know I can't afford a migration lawyer. Do you know how much it would cost if I book a consultation with the migration agent?
Thanks you so much.

Ken
 

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If only people invested a small amount of money in a consultation with a migration agent BEFORE lodging sc. 485 visas. I see so many totally unnecessary refusals or applications that should have never been lodged as they were. I do not understand this mindset of people who will no pay for professional advice, yet happily believe all sort of nonsense they read on FaceBook and the like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree that seeking advice or assistance from a migration agent for visa application like 485 may reduce the chance of getting refusal from the Department, but it still doesn't guarantee 100% success. I have seen cases where the applicant received assistance from a migration agent and still got refused. Just bear in mind that not everybody can afford paying a migration agent for help. A majority of people who applied for the 485 visa are new graduates who are bounded by their financial capacity and time limit. You may think that's a small amount of money to spend for getting a migration agent because you are commenting this from your point of view, not from a student's point of view. The application fees for the 485 visa is $1500 and it may be just a small amount of money from your point of view. But for a new graduate with no income and predominantly relying on his/her family, this is a lot of money.

The Department has responsibility to provide clear guidance and clarification for applicants at any stage of the application. And in response to your last sentence, I did my application based on the information available on the Departmental website, not from Facebook or any other websites. I also tried various ways to seek clarification from the Department for my confusions with no success.
I am not here to cause argument but your comment is being too subjective. Thanks.
 

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I agree that seeking advice or assistance from a migration agent for visa application like 485 may reduce the chance of getting refusal from the Department, but it still doesn't guarantee 100% success. I have seen cases where the applicant received assistance from a migration agent and still got refused. Just bear in mind that not everybody can afford paying a migration agent for help. A majority of people who applied for the 485 visa are new graduates who are bounded by their financial capacity and time limit. You may think that's a small amount of money to spend for getting a migration agent because you are commenting this from your point of view, not from a student's point of view. The application fees for the 485 visa is $1500 and it may be just a small amount of money from your point of view. But for a new graduate with no income and predominantly relying on his/her family, this is a lot of money.

The Department has responsibility to provide clear guidance and clarification for applicants at any stage of the application. And in response to your last sentence, I did my application based on the information available on the Departmental website, not from Facebook or any other websites. I also tried various ways to seek clarification from the Department for my confusions with no success.
I am not here to cause argument but your comment is being too subjective. Thanks.
Unfortunately for you, the Department has no responsibility to do ANYTHING! The onus falls 100% on the applicant.
If you take the time to read through the posts you will see countless cases where people have been given misleading or wrong information by the Department.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Unfortunately for you, the Department has no responsibility to do ANYTHING! The onus falls 100% on the applicant.
If you take the time to read through the posts you will see countless cases where people have been given misleading or wrong information by the Department.
Hi Steve, Yes I have seen this phenomenon when I read through the previous posts. But don't you think this is wrong? What I am doing right now is really seeking for justice through the AAT. If I am not successful at the end, I don't see a point for staying in Australia. I found a few successful appeals regarding misleading/false information provided by the Department.
 

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Hi Steve, Yes I have seen this phenomenon when I read through the previous posts. But don't you think this is wrong? What I am doing right now is really seeking for justice through the AAT. If I am not successful at the end, I don't see a point for staying in Australia. I found a few successful appeals regarding misleading/false information provided by the Department.
Ken, the question of right or wrong does not enter into the equation.
You will have to prove that the Department has made a mistake when arriving at a decision regarding you application.
From what you have said so far it appears that you have made a number of assumptions, that proved incorrect, and you failed to meet a deadline. All simple mistakes,but something that would have been noted immediately by a Registered Migration Agent. ( Please note, that I am not, nor ever have been a RMA, and have no association with any RMA)
Good Luck with your appeal and please keep us informed of the outcome.
 

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The Department has responsibility to provide clear guidance and clarification for applicants at any stage of the application. And in response to your last sentence, I did my application based on the information available on the Departmental website, not from Facebook or any other websites. I also tried various ways to seek clarification from the Department for my confusions with no success.
I am not here to cause argument but your comment is being too subjective. Thanks.
My remarks were based on the many refusals I have seen of especially sc. 485 visas. The Department will not assist you and their web-site cannot be relied on. It should not be that way, but unfortunately it is.

I am well aware of the financial constraints facing students, but in the scheme of things( tuition fees, application fees, etc.) the fee for a simple consultation is a minor expense and certainly less than the cost of an appeal.

I'm not just referring to your case in particular, but to sc. 485 applicants in general.There seem to be so many refusals, because people simply do not understand the requirements.

The main issues I see again and again relate to providing one of the following at time of application:

Evidence of skills assessment
Evidence of English skills
Evidence of police certificate.

I sympathise with your plight and wish you all the best.
 
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