Registered Migration Agent No. 0742052


Licencing/registration to work in Australia and immigration criteria are separate matters.

If your occupation requires licensing/registration, you may still apply for and be granted a visa in certain cases.

For example, Electricians require licensing to work in their trade in Australia, yet they can arrive in Australia on a Working Holiday visa and perform work as an Electrician with a provisional license. Yet overseas Electricians can obtain an Australian permanent residence visa (even before setting foot in Australia) without holding an Australian license.

Different visa subclasses treat the licensing issues differently, for example:

Skilled Migration (subclass 489, 189, 190) doesn’t require licensing for visa grant.

• Employer Sponsored Nominated (Subclass 186, 187) does require a license before an application may be made.

• The subclass 457 visa holder is required to hold a license, yet the visa can be granted without the license in place.

Working Holiday visa holders (Subclass 462, 417) don’t require licensing, but may work on a provisional license(obtained after receiving an OTSR).

Skills assessment

A positive Skills Assessment from a designated authority in Australia is required to proceed with an application for permanent residence.

Offshore Skills Assessment Program (OSAP) - UK, Irish Electricians


As a guide the documentary evidence stage generally costs between $600-$800, while the technical/practical stage generally costs between $1,200-$1,800.

The skills assessment is based on formal and structural recognition of prior learning.

After successfully completing a skills assessment applicants will receive:

• an Australian qualification for non-licensed trades, or

• an Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR) for licensed trade.

Licensing for an Electrician

Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR)

Assessment Process

This process involves the assessment and the issue of an Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR).  The steps involved in achieving an Australian qualification and license are listed in the following steps:


To apply for a skills assessment, you must be assessed by a Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) approved Registered Training organisation (RTO).


Go to your local Regulator and present your OTSR to be issued a provisional occupational license/permit to allow you to work in Australia.


Find an employer - Once you have arrived in Australia you must find an employer.


Enrol at an RTO and undertake the identified gap training


Complete gap training and work experience to meet Australian Electrical Regulators requirements in order to obtain an Australian qualification to gain the relevant electrical license.

Do Electrical Regulators recognise the OTSR?

Yes! An OTSR is a nationally recognised form of documentation that provides entitlement for a provisional license. All state and territory regulatory bodies have agreed for OTSR to be accepted as a form of ‘entry level’ license.

For full license / registration (will vary depending upon regulatory / licensing body):

• gap training

• work experience

How long is the practical experience required in Australia?

Practical experience is a mixture of both time and competency, which is partially captured by ‘eprofiling’ to the satisfaction of both the RTO issuing the Qualification and the Electrical Regulator, which is nominally 12 months.

Australian Recognised Trade Certificate (ARTC)

The Australian Recognised Trade Certificate (ARTC) is for Australian residents or applicants residing in Australia who hold a current visa with the right to work.

An Australian Recognised Trade Certificate (ARTC) is NOT a licence. An ARTC may assist in achieving an appropriate licence for employment purposes, although arrangements and requirements for licensing vary between states.

The purpose of an Australian Recognised Trade Certificate (ARTC) is to recognise the holder as a tradesperson in one or more specified electrical or metal trades, and to assist with licensing and employment requirements.

This involves a review of your qualifications, skills and training and your employment experience in your occupation, followed often times by a trade test.

Eligibility for the ARTC program:

• currently live in Australia

• are a tradesperson in one of the nominated trades assessed through the ARTC program

• have sufficient English language skills to perform the work of your trade safely in Australia

• have the right to work in Australia

• must also have completed the required Australian context training and period of supervised work experience if you have ever held an offshore technical skills record (OTSR).

Fees payable - ARTC Application $930.

Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR) vs. Australian Recognised Trade Certificate (ARTC)

 If you don't have your skills formally assessed before you arrive in Australia you will have to have them assessed in Australia before you can get a provisional licence to work.

Currently, you can apply for what is called the Australian Recognised Trade Certificate (ARTC) which will take a minimum of three (3) months to complete. This involves a review of your qualifications, skills and training and your employment experience in your occupation, followed often times by a trade test.

Alternately, you can now apply for an Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR) from a TRA approved organisation such as Future Skills International and complete this before you leave for Australia, or on arrival in Australia.

The key difference between the two systems, is the time it takes to you have your skills assessed.

Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) currently advise there is a minimum three (3) month processing time for an ARTC, whereas for the OTSR process, you can either have the process completed before you leave to come to Australia, or within a month of your arrival.

The obvious benefit of an OTSR is that you can apply for a provisional electrical licence to start work as an electrician straight away.

Please note, this step is not mandatory to receive your temporary work visa, but you cannot work in Australia with a provisional electrical licence unless you have been through this process or equivalent in Australia.