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Thanks for the info WintheAshes... I will expect it some time before Xmas then as my time line is a little later than yours .....even bigger long sigh...:mad:


Moved back to Perth in May 2013.

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News Flash: successful assessment hurrah!

 

On Tuesday I finally had a response to my email two weeks ago by a senior and this merely gave info that was on the site saying they did not yet have a transitional application form for the assessments already lodged for points purposes. so they say you could use the main one on the site which is not an on line one yet, and suggest that some people may wish to wait to see if they had a positive skills assessment first however it did not mention my assessment was being processed nor did they copy anyone else into it!

 

I logged on this morning and it was still pending then got home and checked even though i had already and there it was in in bright green letters!

 

Only thing is i will still need the employment part of the assessment completing for the points test!

 

next step state sponsorship but first gonna update my status :biggrin:

 

good luck and best wishes to those of you still waiting! thanks for your support!


Moved back to Perth in May 2013.

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Guest jaffas1

Congratulations Waitingawhile!

Thanks for the information re: the points test.

Keep us updated on how your sponsorship and visa application go!

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News Flash: successful assessment hurrah!

 

On Tuesday I finally had a response to my email two weeks ago by a senior and this merely gave info that was on the site saying they did not yet have a transitional application form for the assessments already lodged for points purposes. so they say you could use the main one on the site which is not an on line one yet, and suggest that some people may wish to wait to see if they had a positive skills assessment first however it did not mention my assessment was being processed nor did they copy anyone else into it!

 

I logged on this morning and it was still pending then got home and checked even though i had already and there it was in in bright green letters!

 

Only thing is i will still need the employment part of the assessment completing for the points test!

 

next step state sponsorship but first gonna update my status :biggrin:

 

good luck and best wishes to those of you still waiting! thanks for your support!

Congrats waitingawhile!! What state are you applying for? I've sent off for SA this week


Vetassess app 3/4/11, granted 14/7. IELTS 7/5. SA SS applied 18/7, granted 19/9. Applied 176 14/10, CO 7/11, Meds 3/12. 176 granted 3/Jan/12. Adelaide on holiday Dec 2011, Perth holiday Nov 2012. Struggling to decide... my Dad in UK, my Mum & sister in Adelaide.

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Hello Waiting a while, well done and good luck, am still waiting and is so frustrating, what is your time line, :biggrin:

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Guest HoutoMel

Congrats, Waitingawhile! Personally I feel that VETASSESS is really the longer lead item.

 

While you'll be "waitingawhile" for something else, at least you're that much closer to the visa! :cool:

 

I'm also curious about your timeline.

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Thankyou all, will do Jaffas!, Amy79 I am applying to WA, good luck with the application for sponsorship let us know how you get on!!! clairerichie/Houtomel, although i applied online on 4/3/11 my payment did not actually go through until 28/4/11 which means from the payment date it took 12 weeks! When I applied they had just started to say it would take around 8 weeks! So given some say they have been told it could take even longer I hope this gives some hope as i didn't have grounds for an emergency request to hurry it up.


Moved back to Perth in May 2013.

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Guest HoutoMel
Thankyou all, will do Jaffas!, Amy79 I am applying to WA, good luck with the application for sponsorship let us know how you get on!!! clairerichie, although i applied online on 4/3/11 my payment did not actually go through until 28/4/11 which means from the payment date it took 12 weeks! When I applied they had just started to say it would take around 8 weeks! So given some say they have been told it could take even longer I hope this gives some hope as i didn't have grounds for an emergency request to hurry it up.

 

Congrats again, and the good news for you is that WA seems to turn decisions around with almost blinding speed sometimes. Talk about government at work.

 

With Perth's recent reclassification into a regional area, things are really looking great for you as far as timing goes!

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Guest WinTheAshes

Congrats Waitingawhile! Great news. The wait is finally over. Good luck to the rest of you still waiting for a skills assessment.:smile:

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Guest plannerOH

omg I need a support group. Cannot stop checking online status....

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Guest HoutoMel

Lol, I completely understand. It's now been over 12 weeks since my documents were delivered to VETASSESS, but when I called them the other day they said it'd be another month. I've pretty much decided to quit waiting on them with baited breath--instead I have some other benchmarks that'll remind me to check.

 

For example, I play Madden NFL on PS3--it comes out August 31 and since I'm really looking forward to it coming out, that's my focus. VETASSESS is like a "oh yeah let me check on that."

 

If there's no answer by then, the long-awaited NFL season will be getting going, fantasy football will be starting up, and I'll be in my final semester of law school.

 

If for some reason I still have no answer in September, the Texas APA State Conference is in October, so that'll be another thing to divert my attention to--and remind me to check VETASSESS.

 

The key is distractions! :cool: Distract yourself!

 

Funny thing is that I need to do the additional bit for the letter from VETASSESS for my assessment of qualifications for points test purposes and part of me is in no hurry to submit it, but they suggested that I go ahead and do it now since they still have my file. Imagine that--I'm the one trying not to drag my feet, lol.

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Guest plannerOH

omg you have to be kidding. They said another month? Did they say anything else? I tried to call them after my employer reference was called and they were very cryptic. I go through phases I think and this one is particularly bad. Need to relax.

 

I think it's only been 6 or 7 weeks since they've had my stuff (though 8-9 weeks from payment).

 

On another note I'm trying to look into whether the VETASSESS cost (and any PIA-related costs incl. membership and courses) are tax-deductible under 'job search' expenses. I think I'm looking into that stuff as a distraction so I don't go all together batsh*t crazy ;)

 

Thanks for the encouragement and update!

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Guest WinTheAshes

As I mentioned on a thread elsewhere I called them on the 26th July, after they had my documents for 15 weeks, only to be told that they will now place my application under priority and it would take roughly another week to complete but no gurantees. Looked at the status on the 29th and guess what - the status had changed to successful. Have now received my letter via the post as well.

 

I strongly beleive that if I hadn't called them the the application would have been sat at the bottom of someone's intray! I did have a rant at them about how their website sells the service based on a completion of between 8 and 12 weeks with some cases depending on the complexity taking longer. But from my reckoning there are probably very few applications that meet their 8 to 12 week SLA. Infact the person at the other end of the phone at Vetassess even said that they haven't got the IT staff to update the website!

 

I would urge to call them after 12 weeks to get an update and a likely completion date and be persistent. After all it's a fee paying service and not a free one so Vetassess is obliged to stick to the timelines it has specified and sells its services by.

 

Good luck to those still waiting.

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Guest jaffas1

Hello Everyone,

Just to reiterate the message form WintheAshes above, we got an email from Vetassess a few days ago after our agent sent a query:

"Please be advised that VETASSESS has received a high volume of applications for skills assessment for our general occupations. We are working hard to finalise applications in order of receipt. Our current processing times are 16 weeks. You may submit a request for urgency due to a visa expiry date, or a critical birth date which has implications for the current Points Test."

 

In the email, they went on to say they anticipate that my OH skills assessment should be completed by end of September 2011, as they received the documents on 30.5.11 (even though it was couriered on 15.5.11).

Obviously I have another 6 weeks of waiting to do. Fingers crossed that they will actually get it done by then.

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Guest HoutoMel

The last time I talked to them (maybe 10 days ago) I was told that mine would be about another month. Documents were delivered on 9 May, but apparently weren't "received" for two more weeks until 23 May.

 

For those curious, I was also advised to submit the application for an advisory letter for points test purposes (the new "optional" assessment) since my skills assessment was still in progress and they could be done at the same time--thus I could get both results back at the same time (at least that's what I was told). Needless to say, I expressed that application from the US yesterday and it will be couriered to VETASSESS' front door on Tuesday, 16 August.

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Guest plannerOH

Regarding the advisory letter, I feel dumb but I still don't understand what it's for- shouldn't the skills assessment and employer letter be enough? thanks

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Guest HoutoMel
Regarding the advisory letter, I feel dumb but I still don't understand what it's for- shouldn't the skills assessment and employer letter be enough? thanks

 

It would be logical to think so--and I think that's the way it should be. However, I'd be remiss if I didn't admit that this whole process has made me want to be as conservative as possible in my approach. Is it possible that I'm double-paying VETASSESS for the skills assessment and then the additional letter? Yes, in fact it may be likely.

 

However, I'm willing to pay (even though I'm in school full-time and not working) for anything that I feel like will reduce a potential hurdle in the future, and this whole "points test advisory letter" stuff screams a potentially Denali-sized potential hurdle to me. Not because it would be hard to obtain (at least I don't think so), but because the thought of VETASSESS having to do something all over and taking who-knows-how-long to do it...just not a pleasant thought, IMO. Especially considering that they seem to be still getting their processes firmed up around this whole advisory letter thing.

 

I would really love to see a sample of what a positive skills assessment looks like,

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Guest plannerOH

Ok that makes sense, thanks. Better to be safe I guess. In the long run, the cost is small potatoes. Any other updates on your end? I cannot believe it hasn't even been 3 months since I started this and it seems like a year. Seriously I am going to give myself an ulcer.

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Guest HoutoMel

Everything on my end is pretty much static. However, I hope they're moving along on Albert Street down in Melbourne, lol (gotta find humor, er humoUr) somehow, right? As I mentioned, I sent the application for the advisory letter for my qualifications only--it was less expensive and I only need them to determine that I at least have a bachelor's degree for points purposes. The interesting thing is that VETASSESS is taking so long, that I have had a lot of time to debate what to do regarding state sponsorship.

 

I also applied for (and was approved for, thank God!) a 462 WHV in the meantime. I don't know how that'll jive with me applying for a 17-- PR visa, but I'll leave that questions for DIAC when that day comes. I don't see a problem with it, and their visa wizard allowed my to plug in that hypothetical situation and didn't indicate any restrictions.

 

I just wanted to go ahead and at least get a WHV before I turned 31 in December so that I can at least have a way to get some face-time there. Interestingly, according to my friends in Melbourne, the WHV may be all that I need to get started working, as it could possibly allow me to interact with employers, display my skills on the ground (as opposed to someone making a decision based on a piece a paper sent from 10,000 miles away), and maybe be sponsored. The difficulty for me has been that my area of planning is very specialized (transit) and, while I know everything necessary to do town planning (the AICP was extremely easy, for example) as well as the need to integrate transit and land use planning, incorporating smart growth and sustainability principles, TOD and so on, I think that my job descriptions have misled employers into thinking that I don't know this stuff.

 

For example, most of the planning jobs open in Melbourne are statutory planner jobs. This is no more complicated than approving/denying rezoning petitions and subdivision plats. I know how to do this, but for some reason, my experience is not indicating such and I may not be able to express it best in a resume without it being overshadowed by my transportation/transit based work.

 

Other jobs there are "strategic planning" which is basically Australian for "long range/comprehensive planning." Again, not complicated. The principles there are the same as in the US (the plan for Canberra was even done by an American) but they seem to put a high value on Victorian experience--which is great to have but shouldn't be the be-all, end-all IMO.

 

Lastly, Victoria has been doing a lot to reorganize its transport (transit) governance and structure, based on the Transport Integration Act passed last year. I haven't read it completely through yet (actually hoping to use it as my final research project) but I'd be shocked if it didn't read like Chris Dodd's proposed Livable Communities Act from last year, which was common-sense smart planning. I'd be surprised if Farmer over at APA didn't help write it.

 

Either way, I'll be heading to Melbourne in February. I'd head down this month, but I'm 3 months away from completing law school--may as well finish it. How long I get to stay there depends on the timing of the PR (which will hopefully be a 176 that gets granted while I'm there), or alternatively, if someone makes the wise decision to sponsor me, lol.

 

Of course, if the PR is granted while I'm there I'll have to do the jog over to NZ or somewhere and re-enter to validate it.

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On my assessment letter it stipulated the degree I had was highly relevant to the occupation etc so I do not need an advisory letter for that part however with regard to work experience they only assessed 18 months of one occupation not all of the evidence i provided for different roles (12 years worth) so therein lies the rub I have to pay to get them to consider the rest of the employment experience to gain the points needed! I would also add that the employment experience they did assess related to a period of far more than the 18 months that they gave me credit for! Also as to get even the first level of points for employment experience you need to show 3 years eg 5 points then as you can see they have me over a barrel! I suspect that the advisory letter may not actually be needed and you could do the application to DIAC without it as you provide the same proof however as the experts who examine your skills and experience are supposedly at VETASSESS i would prefer this information to be backed up by VETASSESS before I apply given i have read some posts whereby people are said to have received notification from DIAC that they have over emphasized their work experience. In my case my current job title is not the skill I am applying under and neither does it fall into the same unit group (even though it is on the SOL and in the same sub group of ANZSCO) but it does involve using the relevant skills at the relevant level and assessment of this is a complex piece of work which I need to prove. I am feeling quite frustrated as when I got my original successful assessment I was ecstatic and now have met new hurdles and really wanted the VETASSESS era of my visa journey to be over!


Moved back to Perth in May 2013.

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my situation is thus:

currently on a sponsored 457 visa which expires in Aug 2012, I started PR employer sponsored application last October but then got made redundant due to the current climate. The visa was never lodged. so I started for a spouse 820 visa, got all the forms and ready to lodge, then got a new job who transferred my 457 and said they would sponsor me for PR under the employer nomination scheme, great i thought until i read the criteria for a PR application for a person that has not been with a employer for more than 12 months. I had all my medicals, police checks and the lot ready to go then i found out i needed my original degree which was not a problem as got my oldies to send it over, then was told i needed the transcripts from Uni for all subjects.....thats another three weeks then finally sent all details off to vetassess. I have received the receipt for payment, tried ringing and get the same answer of 16 weeks. my problem is this, all my police checks both UK and AFP expire in November as does my medical. I think i may bin the employer nomination scheme and go spouse visa (married to an aussie now) as i dont want to pay more for medicals and police checks etc etc also the time FAF factor.

 

I just wish i had done this back in January!!!!

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Guest plannerOH
Everything on my end is pretty much static. However, I hope they're moving along on Albert Street down in Melbourne, lol (gotta find humor, er humoUr) somehow, right? As I mentioned, I sent the application for the advisory letter for my qualifications only--it was less expensive and I only need them to determine that I at least have a bachelor's degree for points purposes. The interesting thing is that VETASSESS is taking so long, that I have had a lot of time to debate what to do regarding state sponsorship.

 

I also applied for (and was approved for, thank God!) a 462 WHV in the meantime. I don't know how that'll jive with me applying for a 17-- PR visa, but I'll leave that questions for DIAC when that day comes. I don't see a problem with it, and their visa wizard allowed my to plug in that hypothetical situation and didn't indicate any restrictions.

 

I just wanted to go ahead and at least get a WHV before I turned 31 in December so that I can at least have a way to get some face-time there. Interestingly, according to my friends in Melbourne, the WHV may be all that I need to get started working, as it could possibly allow me to interact with employers, display my skills on the ground (as opposed to someone making a decision based on a piece a paper sent from 10,000 miles away), and maybe be sponsored. The difficulty for me has been that my area of planning is very specialized (transit) and, while I know everything necessary to do town planning (the AICP was extremely easy, for example) as well as the need to integrate transit and land use planning, incorporating smart growth and sustainability principles, TOD and so on, I think that my job descriptions have misled employers into thinking that I don't know this stuff.

 

For example, most of the planning jobs open in Melbourne are statutory planner jobs. This is no more complicated than approving/denying rezoning petitions and subdivision plats. I know how to do this, but for some reason, my experience is not indicating such and I may not be able to express it best in a resume without it being overshadowed by my transportation/transit based work.

 

Other jobs there are "strategic planning" which is basically Australian for "long range/comprehensive planning." Again, not complicated. The principles there are the same as in the US (the plan for Canberra was even done by an American) but they seem to put a high value on Victorian experience--which is great to have but shouldn't be the be-all, end-all IMO.

 

Lastly, Victoria has been doing a lot to reorganize its transport (transit) governance and structure, based on the Transport Integration Act passed last year. I haven't read it completely through yet (actually hoping to use it as my final research project) but I'd be shocked if it didn't read like Chris Dodd's proposed Livable Communities Act from last year, which was common-sense smart planning. I'd be surprised if Farmer over at APA didn't help write it.

 

Either way, I'll be heading to Melbourne in February. I'd head down this month, but I'm 3 months away from completing law school--may as well finish it. How long I get to stay there depends on the timing of the PR (which will hopefully be a 176 that gets granted while I'm there), or alternatively, if someone makes the wise decision to sponsor me, lol.

 

Of course, if the PR is granted while I'm there I'll have to do the jog over to NZ or somewhere and re-enter to validate it.

 

Wow-- you really have it together. That is really smart applying for the WHV. You have that as a backup to get in the door... wish I still had that option, but I turned 31 last January.

 

Re VETASSESS, I feel like the more I think about it, the more anxious it makes me. Don't know whether I need this letter or not. Feel like I should order it to be on the safe side, but then again I have 5 years work experience as a planner (statutory and strategic) and a masters degree so I feel I shouldn't have to. Irritating.

 

On advice of others on this forum, I've kind of been prodding VETASSESS gently, while trying to avoid pissing them off. For whatever reason I feel like it's easier to phone them rather than email. Not to mention I can't bear the days it takes them to reply when I enquire via email. I am about to break down on the phone begging for my results! Thursday I am leaving on vacation for 1.5 weeks and I'd love to NOT be anxious while I'm away.

 

That is awesome that you're committed to February. I have no idea what my timeline is going to be. I am sick of my current job and ready to move on. But the Vic SS is still up in the air and if that doesn't go through, then I can't go for quite a while (175 visa)-- you're very lucky you have the WHV option open. Well hopefully it will work out either way. Thanks for the update-- makes me feel a lot better and gives me some peace! :)

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Guest HoutoMel

@waitingawhile,

 

Thanks for the update on what a VETASSESS assessment letter looks like! That's very helpful...yet frustrating because it does beg the question of the relevance of the extra letter.

 

@plannerOH,

 

I can understand the anxiety levels with VETASSESS! Like you, I feel that I don't need the letter, but I'm just playing it almost ultra-conservative now, lol! I've never tried emailing them, only calling. However, I always feel awkward because I don't know if I'm messing up the customary opening and closing of a phone call, lol! Is "hello" and "thank you, have a a great day" proper? I don't know, but there always seems like a disconnect with the staffperson. I hope that I'm not being rude.

 

You haven't heard from VIC yet? How long has it been with them? You mentioned going with the 175 if VIC doesn't come through...have you considered another state? SA has planners on its "off-list" occupations (which still won't save you much time IIRC), at last check, NSW has basically DIAC's list as its SMP, which planners are on, and planners were still on WA's list when I last checked. Planners are on Queensland's list, but only for regional visas. The cool part about that, however, is that a LOT of suburban Brisbane is "regional"--like, amazingly close to the CBD and connected by rail suburban.

 

WA seems to be turning around SS in less than a week for people, and SA seems reasonably quick. Don't know much about turnaround for NSW or QLD, but I know that NSW costs AUD$300 and you can't do it online--only by mail.

 

I brought that up because it still seems that people are getting 176s in a matter of weeks--like 8-12 weeks in some cases. If you're still determined to be in Victoria, hypothetically, you could get WA SS in a week, and have your PR in a matter of weeks. If you were able to move quickly, you could do your two years in WA, coupled with, (albeit optimistically) 9-10 weeks of SS and PR approval for a total of an approximately 26 month timeframe. All while simultaneously getting this prized "Australian" experience that would definitely grease the skids into Melbourne. Alternatively, a 175 that could take up to 18 months...so it could be a 8 month difference in time.

 

I'm still working it out in my head, but if I get it clear, it might be something that I consider, lol. My heart is on Melbourne, but I must admit to being intrigued by Brisbane for some reason, lol. I also keep hearing about Perth, but I've not seen too terribly many jobs for planners there. I have seen some in Sydney, though.

 

BTW, don't fret during your vacation--apply it as a distraction! Out of sight, out of mind! Hopefully when you return you can have a positive answer from Victoria or VETASSESS or...BOTH! Keep the faith, and hope!

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Guest plannerOH

Ah.. thanks for the reassurance. You always seem to make me feel better about all this!

 

Re Vic, the same day I sent them my IELTS result a month ago (which was really just an excuse for me to make contact with them), they asked me for a skills assessment. I am trying to use that as a 'hurry up' with VETASSESS. I take that as a good sign, but I've learned to make no assumptions about this entire process.

 

I didn't realize that SA and QLD both has possibilities for SS-- I figured SA wasn't even worth it since it's off list. I figure if I don't get Vic SS, my top two possibilities are either 175 or applying for WA SS. But I've never been to Perth (or SA for that matter). And while it seems ok and popular, I just don't know it. I've spent time in Melb, Sydney, Tassie, Qld (Brisbane and FNQ) and the NT but am totally ignorant about Perth and WA in general. It seems people actually go there sight-unseen and it's still Australia right?

 

On the plus side with 175, I read something about how they're going to process some category 5 applications this (financial) year, meaning they have to process the cat 4's first-- so I guess by definition, those will get processed more quickly than before.

 

Lastly, WA SS might be the way to go if Vic SS doesn't work out-- time goes by so fast now, 2 years might be over before I know it. And truthfully I'd rather spend two years in WA rather than another year here.

 

Nerves/excitement... Will have to resist the urge to check VETASSESS status while on vacation :) thanks again for the info and reassurance!

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