Immigration FAQs

General Immigration FAQs

Skilled Employment FAQs

International Students FAQs

Academic Evidence FAQs

 

General Immigration FAQs

1. What are the core knowledge areas for my occupation code?
Each nominated occupation has compulsory and optional core knowledge areas.

Core Knowledge Areas
Accountant (General)
ANZSCO 221111
External Auditor 
ANZSCO 221213
Management Accountant 
ANZSCO 221112
Taxation Accountant 
ANZSCO 221113
Finance Manager 
ANZSCO 132211
Basic Accounting
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
Cost & Management Accounting
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
Financial Accounting & Reporting
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
Financial Management
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
Economics
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
Business Law (including Corporate Law)
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
Statistics
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
compulsory
Tax Law
optional
optional
optional
compulsory*
optional
Auditing & Assurance
optional
compulsory
optional
optional
optional

*Please note that for Applicants who apply for Taxation Accountant, you must supply completed studies in Australian Tax Law.

2. Can I have more than one Qualifications Assessment?
Yes, absolutely.  We are happy to provide you with assessment outcomes for all accounting occupation codes.  There is no limit to the amount of qualifications assessments you can hold with the IPA.

You may apply for another occupation code assessment by applying for the Reassessment option online.  This does not replace or cancel out any existing letters we've provided you with.

3. How long is the skills assessment valid for?
A skills assessment is valid for a period of three years from the date of the assessment. 

4. How many hours do I need to work for my experience to be considered?
You require a minimum of 20 hours per week paid at market rate, in your nominated or closely related occupation in order for your skilled employment experience to be considered.
Please note that we will only accept a minimum period of employment of 12 months or more, with at least three months per role.

5. Can I act on behalf of a friend/relative who wishes to apply for an assessment?
Yes. The applicant must provide a written authority to allow us to discuss details of the assessment with the authorised third party.

6. I have received my assessment result, but I am not sure what it means.
Correspondence from the IPA in relation to your assessment covers the following areas:

  • General Information: A brief background of the qualifications required for a positive assessment. 
  • Assessment advice: Advice on whether your qualifications are comparable to at least an Australian Bachelor degree and, if so, whether your qualifications include adequate coverage of the compulsory core knowledge areas.   

Any shortfalls, including if you do not meet the required English language competency, will be advised accordingly in our assessment outcome letter, together with what you need to do next in order to meet the requirements for a positive outcome. 

If you're advised that your qualification is comparable to an Australian Bachelor degree, and you've met the required compulsory core knowledge areas for your nominated occupation, you may use this qualification assessment for your migration application.

7. I don't agree with the IPA's qualifications assessment outcome.  I believe I have met the core requirements, and can provide further information to support my claim. What should I do?
You will need to apply for a qualification reassessment application, and provide all supporting documentation.  You may do this by logging into the system and selecting the Reassessment option online, and by paying the Reassessment application fee.

8. I lost my paper-based outcome letter, and require a letter for migration purposes, what should I do?
Click here to request a replacement letter.  You will have 90 days to access and download the letter, after which time your authorised access will expire. Please note that an administration fee of $90 will apply.

Skilled Employment Assessment FAQs

1. Who can assess my skilled employment?
Your skilled employment assessment must be completed by the same assessing body responsible for the assessment of your qualifications. So if your Qualifications Assessment was assessed by us, your Skilled Employment application must also be assessed by us.

2. My qualifications assessment resulted in a 'not suitable' outcome. Can I have my skilled employment assessed?
No. Your qualifications must be assessed as 'suitable' before your skilled employment assessment application can be considered.  

3. Will you consider experience gained both before and after my studies?
Skilled employment gained only after the completion of your relevant qualification can be assessed as comparable to an Australian Bachelor degree. We cannot assess experience gained prior to the completion of your studies.

4. How many hours do I need to work for my experience to be considered?
The employment in question must require you to work a minimum of 20 hours per week, paid at market rate, in your or closely related nominated occupation in order for your skilled employment to be considered.

5. Will you consider skilled employment that is not relevant to my nominated occupation?
No. Your employment must be in or closely related to your nominated occupation. To determine if an occupation is closely related to your nominated occupation, refer to the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.

6. Can I claim points for both overseas and Australian skilled employment?
Yes, we will assess and provide advice on your skilled employment both in Australia and overseas. DIBP will take this into consideration when making a decision on awarding the points. IPA has no part in DIBP's decision making on this matter. 

7. I am submitting my qualifications and skilled employment for assessment at the same time. Will they both be assessed?
Our online system allows you to apply for a Qualifications assessment first.   Once that is marked as successful and we have sent you the outcome letter, our online application system will give you access to apply for a Skilled Employment assessment.

8. Is there a fee for the assessment of my skilled employment?
Please refer to our Fees and Charges page.

9. Can I submit additional information for an appeal or reassessment?
No. The assessment is based on information, references and other supporting evidence provided with your initial application. To prevent against fraud and document manipulation, we will not accept further information or altered references at any time after you have lodged the initial application. We do not reassess or review skilled employment outcomes after the decision has been made.  This means you have one opportunity only to submit all the required supporting documentation.

10. Is a CV/Résume sufficient?
No. You must provide supporting evidence.

11. What evidence must I provide?
Please attach high-quality colour scans of work references on the letterhead of the company or government department providing the employment reference.

The letterhead should:

  1. Show clearly the full address of the company, telephone and fax numbers, email and website address.
  2. Include the name and position of the referee signing the employment reference, typed or stamped below that referee's signature. The signatory must be your line manager, CEO or HR Manager.  A reference where the details of the signatory are illegible will not be accepted.
  3. Include the direct contact details of the referee.

The reference must include:

  1. the length of time you were employed;
  2. whether the role was permanent, temporary, full or part-time;
  3. for part-time employees, the number of hours worked per week;
  4. your main duties and responsibilities; and
  5. your job title/position.

Other documents to support your claim may include:

  1. Contracts of employment.
  2. Tax returns
  3. Payslips

References for Australian and overseas work experience must relate to employment that is no more than ten years old at the time of lodging your visa application.

For further information on how points are awarded for both overseas and Australian skilled employment, please refer to SkillSelect

12. What other evidence is acceptable, if I'm not able to provide employer work references?

  1. You may provide a work reference from a senior colleague in the same organisation with expertise closely related to your nominated occupation. This reference must be on or submitted with a Statutory Declaration. A Statutory Declaration is a legal document to be signed and witnessed by an authorised person.

    Please include on the Statutory Declaration the following words:

    I understand that a person who intentionally makes a false statement in a statutory declaration is guilty of an offence, and I believe that the statements in this declaration are true in every particular.

  2. The referee must verify their employment and position. This may be by way of their business card, payslips and other relevant evidence.
  3. The work reference / Statutory Declaration must include full employer details: i.e. name, address, telephone and fax numbers, email and website addresses.
  4. Information to be provided is per FAQ 11.
  5. Please note the Institute of Public Accountants is under no obligation to accept references provided by colleagues.

There are heavy consequences for applicants who provide fraudulent documents and declarations, and we are required to report fraud to the DIBP.  

13. I am/was self-employed. What do I do?

You may provide a Statutory Declaration with a detailed explanation of the nature of your business.

Please include on the Statutory Declaration the following words: 

I understand that a person who intentionally makes a false statement in a statutory declaration is guilty of an offence, and I believe that the statements in this declaration are true in every particular.

The following documents must also be attached:

  • Certificate of Business Registration
  • Tax Returns for your business
  • References/recommendations from business associates (with business cards attached)
  • Contracts for work undertaken
  • Any other information that demonstrates relevant skilled employment in the course of self-employment.

If you worked as a contractor through an agency, a reference from the agency is acceptable. This reference must detail the nature of contracts, the periods of your contracts, and your key duties and responsibilities.

14. My company will not give me a reference directly. Can they send it to you?
Yes. Please ensure they quote the ID number allocated to you on your tax invoice. The work reference must be on company letterhead and include the details noted in FAQ 12.

15. My employer pays me cash and I don’t get payslips. How can I prove my employment?
“Cash-in-hand” or “off-the-books” are phrases used to describe a job where your employer pays you in cash to avoid paying you any of your entitlements, like superannuation or public holiday rates. It’s also frequently used by employers to try and stay off the radar of authorities like Fair Work Australia and the Australian Tax Office. By paying cash in hand, employers deny their workers their public holiday and weekend rates (also known as penalty rates), superannuation, and general workplace rights.

Your employer must provide you with a payslip every pay period, as well as a payment summary at the end of every financial year. No matter how you’re paid – cash or bank transfer – your employer must provide you with a detailed payslip within one day of the end of every pay period. A pay slip must include (amongst other things) your total pay before and after tax, your hourly rate and any penalty rates that apply (and the number of hours worked at those rates) and any deductions (such as tax or superannuation) that came out of your pay. Your employer must also provide you with a group certificate or payment summary at the end of every financial year, detailing your total income from that employer and the total amount of tax your employer withheld from you.

We will not accept or assess Skilled Employment whereby cash is paid without valid regular payslips and payment summaries provided to support your application.

16. Am I entitled to a refund if my Skilled Employment application is unsuccessful?
No. We do not offer refunds in the event that any application is assessed by the team and returned as negative.  We spend considerable time working on every assessment, which is what the costs cover to review and verify the evidence you have provided to us.

FAQs - International Students

1. I am now completing a degree in Australia at an Australian institution. Will I be eligible for a Graduate (Temporary) visa (sub-class 485)?
In order to be eligible to apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa (sub-class 485), graduates of Australian accounting degrees must have received an assessment outcome confirming they have:

  • a recognised and suitable formal qualification
  • completed the compulsory core knowledge areas at tertiary level, for your nominated occupation
  • evidence of English language tests - IELTS Academic or General Training, TOEFL iBT, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic English or Cambridge CAE tests with the following minimum band scores:

English Language proficiency level

Test component

IELTS Academic / General

TOEFL iBT

Pearson (PTE) Academic

Cambridge (CAE)

Proficient (for points tested Skilled visas)

Listening

6.0

12

50

169

Reading

6.0

13

50

169

Writing

6.0

21

50

169

Speaking

6.0

18

50

169

2. I currently hold a Graduate (Temporary) visa (sub-class 485). How much time will I have to meet the requirements to apply for Australian permanent residence (PR)?
The 485 visa provides a stay period of 18 months.

3. I have been granted a Temporary Graduate Visa (sub-class 485). Will I be eligible to lodge a Permanent Residency application with the DIBP?
You will be eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa with DIBP if you provide evidence of the following:

  • Satisfactory completion of the Skilled Migration Internship Program - Accounting (SMIPA); or
  • IELTS Academic, TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic English or Cambridge CAE tests with the following minimum band scores respectively:

English Language proficiency level

Test component

IELTS Academic

TOEFL iBT

Pearson (PTE) Academic

Cambridge (CAE)

Proficient (for points tested Skilled visas)

Listening

7.0

24

65

185

Reading

7.0

24

65

185

Writing

7.0

27

65

185

Speaking

7.0

23

65

185

 

4. How can I be sure that DIBP will accept my PR visa application?
The IPA has been advised by DIBP that graduates will be able to use this updated assessment to apply for general skilled migration. Please check with DIBP or a migration agent for more information, or if you have queries regarding your personal situation.

5. How do I obtain an updated assessment?
You will lodge an application with the IPA, who will issue an updated assessment, which you are then able to provide to DIBP as evidence.

6. Is there a fee for the second assessment?
Yes, click here to view our fees and charges. 

 


FAQs - Academic evidence

1. In what fields of study should evidence be supplied?
To receive a successful assessment of your qualification, you must have:

  • A qualification (with a sequence in accounting or relevant field) from an accredited educational institution which is assessed as comparable to an Australian Bachelor degree
  • The curriculum of your qualification must be comparable to the curriculum of an Australian Bachelor degree in the following nine core areas, including the required core knowledge areas that are compulsory for each of the nominated occupations: 
  • Basic Accounting
  • Cost and Management Accounting
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting 
  • Auditing and Assurance
  • Financial Management 
  • Business Law (including Corporate Law) 
  • Economics
  • Statistics
  • Taxation Law (must be Australian Taxation Law if Taxation Accountant is your nominated occupation code)

2. I am a member of a professional accounting body overseas. Does that help my chances of a successful qualifications assessment?
If you have a qualification (with a major in accounting or relevant field) that is comparable to an Australian Bachelor degree, we will consider the studies you have successfully completed from the following list of global professional accounting bodies. 

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK (ACCA)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, UK (CIMA)
  • Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, UK (CIPFA)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales Only Associate membership obtained through a program of study and examinations and practical training will be considered
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) ) Only Associate membership obtained through a program of study and examinations and practical training will be considered
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) Only Associate membership obtained through a program of study and examinations and practical training will be considered.
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland Only Chartered membership obtained through a program of study and examinations and practical training will be considered
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka Only Associate membership obtained through a program of study and examinations and practical training will be considered
  • Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMAP) Only Associate membership obtained through a program of study and examinations and practical training will be considered

Other Qualifications
Please note that the qualifications issued by the following professional bodies below are not classified as comparable to an Australian Bachelor Degree.  We cannot accept these qualifications without an underpinning Bachelor Degree also. 

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland
  • Le Conseil Superieur de l'Ordre des Experts-Comptables, France
  • South African Institute of Chartered Accountants

3. Can the IPA provide me with a list of recognised universities and degree qualifications?
No. There are large numbers of institutions worldwide, and many qualifications are limited by the Division, Class or Aggregate Grade awarded. In determining the status of your educational institution and qualification, the IPA uses the guidelines published in the relevant Country Education Profiles provided by the Qualifications Recognition Policy Unit, an office of the Department of Education in Australia.

4. What is an academic transcript?
An academic transcript is the official record of your results produced by your education institution. Note we only accept the official transcript of the education institution. If the official transcript is not in English, a certified English translation must also be provided. Academic transcripts often contain information of the grading system or subject legend, and must be included.

If your academic transcript indicates that you were given credit in units towards your qualification from previous studies, you must also include transcripts from your prior study which clearly shows those units being studied.

5. Do I have to include syllabus details?
If you have studied outside Australia - yes. You must provide adequate syllabus details from your overseas university which demonstrates that your studies fully covered the core curriculum areas. Failure to provide these details may adversely affect your assessment or delay its completion.

If you have studied in Australia, you do not need to supply syllabus details.

6. I do not have a copy of my syllabus. What can I do?
Most institutions around the world retain historic course information. You should contact the institution first to determine whether they have archived the information. If the institution cannot provide the information to you, you should attempt to obtain information that is as close as possible to the course studied. If providing the course handbook, please highlight the relevant pages.

7. I have contacted my education institution, however they cannot provide me any syllabus detail for my study. What can I do?
You must prepare your own summary of the topics covered in each subject and submit this with a Statutory Declaration that the information given is true and correct. The Statutory Declaration must include the reason for providing your own summary, and that all attempts have been made by you to obtain relevant syllabus details.

Please note that a Statutory Declaration is a legal document and must be witnessed and signed by an authorised attester such as a Justice of Peace or Notary Public.

Please include on the Statutory Declaration the following - I understand that a person who intentionally makes a false statement in a statutory declaration is guilty of an offence, and I believe that the statements in this declaration are true in every particular.

8. How much information should the syllabus contain?
Each subject outline should contain enough detail to demonstrate that your studies adequately cover each of the core knowledge areas. The greater the detail, the easier the assessment will be.

9. I have completed a qualification that is comparable to an Australian university degree and I have received credit (advanced standing or exemptions) into the course, can this affect my assessment?
Yes. You must provide full curriculum detail of all studies relevant to your assessment including studies for which you have received credit. The award (if any), transcripts and relevant subject outlines are required to support the exemptions.

10. If I am still studying my course at an Australian university.  Can I submit my application now?
No. You must wait until you have finished your studies. You will need to provide the letter of completion and full official academic transcript with your application as evidence of completion.

11. Is a qualification from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) UK suitable for migration purposes?
No. An AAT qualification is assessed as comparable to an Australian Advanced Diploma only.

12. If my overseas qualification is not comparable to an Australian Bachelor degree, or I don't have a bachelor degree at all, will I still be eligible to apply?
No. Please note that only a full 12 or 16 unit Master of Professional Accounting program, without exemptions, from an accredited Australian University is accepted as equivalent to a relevant first degree.

13. I have a bachelor degree from China. Where should I have my qualifications verified? 
All Chinese qualifications can be verified by CDGDC in China or VETASSESS in Australia.  Your Bachelor Degree Certificate and Academic Transcript in both Chinese and English translation must be submitted for verification.  When submitting your qualifications to us, please include a copy of the original report attached with the certificate and transcript.

14. I have completed additional studies such as non-award units from an Australian university. Can I have these studies assessed?
Yes. You can request that these additional studies be taken into consideration.  You will need to apply online for a Reassessment application and forward it, together with official academic transcripts and a completion letter from the university, if applicable.