How to File ACS assessment for Australia Skills points 189 Visa

Anil Gupta  21 Mar, 19      68  Aus ACS Australia

ACS Australia Skill Assessment

If you are looking at applying for Australia’s PR with skills based points system visa (known as 189 visa), you would need to apply for ACS’s assessment, if your education and work experience is related to science and technology.

Related: How to score 79+ PTE Academic in a week

ACS Australia Skill Assessment Fees

At the time or writing, the fees for Skills based test is AUD $ 500.
This converts to approximately USD $ 384 with conversion rate of 1 AUD = 0.77 USD.

Documents required for ACS Australia Assessment

  1. Birth Certificate or Passport – Applicant details page only, not full passport
  2. Degree or Award Certificate – Over and above Senior secondary i.e. above 12th standard
    • Title of Degree or Award
    • Name of University or Awarding Institution
    • Date the Degree or Award was completed – the qualification will be assessed as NOT suitable if there is no documented evidence that the degree has been completed and awarded.
  3. Mark Sheets or Mark sheet Transcript
    • Should have Unit or Subject Names and Grades or Marks Achieved
  4. Work experience letters – How ACS calculates your work experience years?
How to file ACS Australia Assessment
How to file ACS Australia Assessment

Work Experience letter Format

Use this sample skill letter. It has all the information that ACS needs to validate your work experience with respect to the Australia ANZSCO job code that you choose.

The start date and end date for the job has to be clearly mentioned.
If you just mention the MONTH like JUNE 2017 to MAR 2018, ACS will assume it to be the LAST day of that month for calculating your total work experience.

Letter head is mandatory.

ACS Australia Online Application Filling

1. Notarize All Documents

Get all documents photocopied and then NOTARIZED.

Sample Notary stamp and content to be placed on EACH page that needs notarization.

Sample notary stamp for ACS Australia documents
Sample notary stamp for ACS Australia documents

Notarization requirements

  1. Should be marked as ‘CERTIFIED TRUE COPY OF ORIGINAL‘. – Either you can write this by hand or use a rubber stamp (as shown in above image).
  2. Should have Notary signature.
  3. Should have Notary official stamp.
  4. Should have Notary date of signing. Date format: dd/mm/yyyy
    If using any other date format, then write date with month in English letters like 4 Apr, 2018.

2. Scan All Notarized Documents in PDF format

  1. Multiple PDF files are allowed.
    A separate PDF file should be created for each qualification type and for each Employment reference.
    You will have 1 PDF for your passport.
    Then, second one for your Master’s/Bachelor’s degree + Mark sheets (all years)
    Then, third one for your Employment 1 reference letter.
    Then, fourth one for your Employment 2 reference letter and so on.
  2. Max 8 documents can be evaluated for 1 application fees.
    This essentially means 8 PDF files excluding the passport PDF.
  3. Each PDF can be max of 3 MB in size.
    Use CamScanner or ADOBE Scan mobile apps to easily scan your documents. Both are available FREE to use.
  4. File name should clearly state the content of file.
    PDF 1 can be named ‘Passport.pdf‘.
    PDF 2 with Masters degree and mark sheet can be named ‘Education 1 – Master of Computer Application.pdf’
    PDF 3 with Employment 1 can be named as ‘Employment 1 – ABC technologies ltd‘.

ACS Assessment Not Able to Delete Uploaded files

This is a common problem with ACS’s system. They do NOT allow to delete the files (if you wrongly uploaded them) even though they have a ‘Delete‘ button available.
This is perfectly fine and you can ignore the wrong files. Just upload the correct files against each section and you should be fine, as per official ACS response.

Some people suggest to create a new ACS online account and then re-start the process.
If you try to create another account with another email, they do NOT allow you to do so.
They do match your passport number to check any pre-existing applications.

ACS Assessment Awaiting Documents Email

If ACS needs any more documents from you, they will send you an email and move the application status to ‘Awaiting Documents’.

If you have not received an email from them and still the status shows ‘Awaiting documents’, check this link for resolution:
ACS assessment status waiting for documents – no email received.

ACS Revalidation

You can apply for re validation but I would not recommend it until you are sure of some mistake.
The fees is AUD $300 for re-validation and they just re-do the same process that they did earlier.
You can ask for the reason of low score though and they will explain on what criteria they chose.

ACS Current Employment End Date

End date has to be mentioned for the current and active employment too. Just choose the end date as the date when you are submitting the application.
Once you are past the education and employment entry page, you will receive an email to create your PASSWORD.

Follow that link. It will ask you to enter your email and send send you a new link to reset your password.
Once you create a new password, you are logged in to ACS for completing your application.

ACS Application “In Progress” or “with Assessor”

Once you submit your application, it is normal for it to stay at “In Progress” step for about 10-15 days.

ACS Australia application in progress
ACS Australia application in progress

Once the preliminary verification of your documents are done, the next status would show up as “with Assessor“.
Assessor is the person who will judge your educational and work experience and give the results.

Officially ACS says that it takes about 10-12 weeks to get the ACS assessment report.

Sample ACS Assessment Report 261312 (Developer Programmer) ANZSCO Code

This sample report was received on May 21, 2018. It was filed on Apr 4, 2018. So, it took about 6 weeks to get the report. The time frame varies based on your submitted documents and their truthfulness.

ACS may send the document to the employer for verification if they feel something has been tampered with. This will eat up lot of extra time based on how soon the employer responds.

Start the discussion at

Old Comments

   Read all 68 Q & A

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  1. Rajshekar_232   21 Mar, 19 at 8:11 am

    Hi Anil,
    My current company is my third company and in the reference letters there is designation as “Software Engineer” in first two companies and senior software engineer in third. Can i apply for 261312 DEVELOPER PROGRAMMER or i should apply for 261313 SOFTWARE ENGINEER only. What is the difference between two. Does one has more weightage than the other?
    Second query, does ACS ask for English test score?
    Third, does the employee reference letter also need notary stamp?

    • Anil Gupta   21 Mar, 19 at 7:24 pm

      ACS does not ask for English Language score.

      You should choose the ANZSCO code based on your day to day work activity and profile and not on the basis of designation name.
      ACS will check your job roles and responsibilities to match it with ANZSCO code.

  2. sonam kapor   21 Mar, 19 at 5:48 am

    My job experience is in
    job with ANZSCOcode 261111 for the past 7 years where as I have studied the course with ANZSCO code 262112.Is it going to affect my PR Skilled employment points?

    • Anil Gupta   21 Mar, 19 at 7:24 pm

      Yes, the education and work experience should be in the same field to get the most relevant and positive assessment report from ACS.
      If the work or education do not match the ANZSCO code that you choose, ACS will deduct extra years from work exp..

  3. Shilpa Jindal   9 Mar, 19 at 8:09 pm

    Dear Anil, Its really great to see your responses. I have few queries, 1) I have changed my name during my employment, my name is different in the qualification documents and my experience letters. Just want to know if I can give any document as proof( I have two passport one with old name and 2nd with new name).
    2) May I know if i can file 190 with 65 +5 points from state, what is the possibility of getting the visa(261313).

  4. Ragini gupta   6 Mar, 19 at 7:58 am

    Hi Anil,
    You are sharing great info through this platform. My doubt is regarding work experience letters .I have experience letters but they do not detail job roles etc. It is rather difficult to get reference letter from previous employers.Please advice.

  5. Hi Anil,

    I am finding this very difficult to take out latest references from a previous employers since its been more than 10 years when i worked there and the management is totally changed. I also don’t have have any previous contacts from that employer as well. However, I do have old experience letter which only describe general responsibilities. Please guide if this is enough for assessment?

    • Anil Gupta   6 Mar, 19 at 9:26 am

      As per my information, you need the experience letter in the format that your job code’s assessment company requires.

  6. Hi Anil,

    I have few questions regarding 189. I am planning to apply under Job Code 263111, Do I need to add my MSc (Network System) which was completed on Jun 2011 from UK) along with my Bachelors (BS computer science, completed Jun 2005) ??. I also have industry based certifications like CCNA and CCNP but they were valid until Sept 2016. Can I add them too? would this impact positively on my application?

    Also, my experience was started in march 2005 and I do have 9 years and 5 months experience up to now. How they gonna measure my skill employment? how much point I will be granted for experience?

    Moreover, my bachelor degree certificate does not have completion date but only have completion year which is 2005 would this impact on degree assessment?

    Please guide thanks

    • It is your choice as to which educational qualification you want to use for your assessment. It is always better to submit all degree completions.

      There are no extra points for certifications. also, if they have already expired, it is of no use to submit them.

      ACS deducts 2 years from your total work experience.

      Completion date of degree should not affect the assessment. You can mention the date as you know when you actually completed your bachelor degree.

      • Thanks for your detailed response. Much appreciated..!!

        One more thing want to know is that my wife has Master degree in sociology but she does not have any skill employment. Can I still claim spouse points by having only her degree assessed by AASW. I think her job code should be 272511 (Social worker) and mine is 263111 network engineer, can I claim my spouse points having these job codes? All of other requirements for spouse points have already fulfilled.

        .Please advice.


  7. Pawan Gupta   23 Feb, 19 at 8:48 pm

    Hi Anil, I’ve a question regarding the job lists. I’m a network engineer (Job code 2631-11) which is listed in both STSOL and MLTSSL. My wife is Software tester (job code 2613-14) which is listed only in STSOL. I tried to check my score (with me as primary applicant) and got zero points for spouse, even though my job is listed in both the lists. What do you suggest we do to maximize our points? Will making my wife primary applicant help? But in that case, we’ll need some state nominationsponsorship? How does that work?

    • Use this Australia PR points calculator to find more options to increase your points. It automatically suggests the options as you move.

      • Pawan Gupta   28 Feb, 19 at 2:03 am

        Thanks Anil, do I need 2 separate ACS submissions (for myself and spouse) to claim spouse points?

        • Yes, a separate assessment is needed for spouse if you plan to claim spouse points.
          If you are not claiming spouse points, then ACS assessment is not required for your spouse.

  8. Abhijit Jain   21 Feb, 19 at 1:13 am

    Can I upload for employment like this
    Company 1 – one pdf – document for roles and responsibilities company 1
    Second pdf – Appointment letter company 1
    third pdf – relieving letter company 1

    Company 2 – one pdf – document for roles and responsibilities company 2
    Second pdf – Appointment letter company 2
    third pdf – relieving letter company 2

    or Should I merge all documents and upload only
    Company 1 – one pdf with roles resonsibility + Appointment + Relieving

    Company 2 – one pdf with roles resonsibility + Appointment + Relieving

    Please advise

    thanks in advance

    • Anil Gupta   21 Feb, 19 at 1:20 pm

      You only need one letter from each company i.e. document for roles and responsibilities. No other documents like appointment or relieving letters are required for ACS assessment.

      There is a limited number of documents that you can upload. So, choose wisely.

      • Gagan Kataria   6 Mar, 19 at 8:46 am

        Hi Anil,

        If we don’t get the documents reflecting our roles & responsibilities and if these details are not available on our experience letters, how can we show the work experience.

        • Anil Gupta   6 Mar, 19 at 9:57 am

          You can get a statutory letter from your co-worker in same company which is less reliable and may or may not be accepted by assessment company.

  9. Hi, it may be silly but I have question. For notaries, should I get in all pages of each document or one notary sign for each document?

    • Anil Gupta   20 Feb, 19 at 3:57 pm

      All pages of each document needs to be notarized for Australia ACS assessment.

      • Thanks much, Another question. Can I combine all experience letters into one pdf, all marksheets (school, ug and master) into one pdf, all degree certificate into one?

        • Anil Gupta   20 Feb, 19 at 7:08 pm

          A separate PDF file should be created for each qualification type and for each Employment reference. Think it this way: Make it easy for the case officer to read and understand your education and work experience as easily as possible.

          If you combine everything in one file, it may not be readable at all.

          • got it, Thank you !

          • Hi, I want to apply skills assessment for Software Tester. I have a Testimonial letter where I was working and studying in one of India’s big MNC, an experience letter that has my role as Technical Lead, another experience letter that has Senior Associates – Projects. However the duties mentioned in the letters are all related to testing/automation testing. How will my points be calculated based on the testimonial and roles?

            • Anil Gupta   22 Feb, 19 at 5:56 pm

              I don’t understand your question about ‘how’ they will calculate. Whatever you submit will be analyzed to match your selected job code to see it matches.

            • Since the role and the testimonial letter (is not an exact experience letter) does not say I am from automation testing background, I had this question. But the duties do match to software tester. Can I apply for Software Tester under 189 ?

            • Anil Gupta   22 Feb, 19 at 7:00 pm

              I cannot comment on it as i do not have details about your letters.
              You are the best person to judge as to which job code fits your job profile.

  10. Garima Khanna   16 Feb, 19 at 4:34 am

    Dear Anil ji,

    The first line of your article says that assessment is required for the ones related to science and technology. I am a Chartered Accountant working in an investment bank. Would I not be required to go for the skills assessment test?

    Thank you

    • Anil Gupta   16 Feb, 19 at 9:03 am

      Everyone needs assessment for Australia PR including accountants. The Assessment agency is different for each job code.
      ACS assesses job codes in the Software engineer category.

      For your field of accountancy, first choose the Job ANZSCO Code and then you will know the Assessment Agency name.

      • Garima Khanna   16 Feb, 19 at 9:19 pm

        Got your point. Would you recommend going ahead with the pr procedure through a MARA agent? Or otherwise?


        • Anil Gupta   17 Feb, 19 at 8:52 am

          Its your choice if you want a MARA agent to help you and spend money.
          The whole process of Australia PR can be done yourself easily though.

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