Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Process Begins

Upon our return from our 2006 vacation to Australia, we studied our options for migration. At that time we focused primarily on their Skilled Migration Program. This would give us Permanent Residency right away, and we wouldn't be required to have a job lined up in order to make the move. Australia has a points system, where you get points for age, occupation, experience and English language ability, amongst other things. A total of 120 points was needed. With Anna holding 2 Masters degrees in Education and Counseling we thought that we would have not trouble meeting their requirements. Unfortunately, we soon found at that Anna's profession, School Counselor, was no on the Australian Skills in Demand  list (SOL). In fact, her profession wasn't even recognized over there. The role of Counselors within the Australian school system were as rare as a Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat.

Our hopes were temporarily dashed. We had one more approach, and that was to have my skills assessed as a Computer Programmer. After consultation with a migration agent, we discovered that I was lacking in work experience, and needed to wait a while longer before we could apply.

Fast forward to August 2008.... I finally had gathered enough work experience, and had also been studying for an Australian Degree online from RMIT. Now the process could really begin.

The first stage of most migration applications under the Skilled Migration program is the Skills Assessment. Without this, you would not be able to submit you visa application. The Skills Assessment was to be done through the Australian Computer Society (ACS), and seemed to be an arduous process. Due to not having an IT Degree, I needed to complete what is know as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). I felt quite overwhelmed as an extensive description of my work experience and skills needed to be complete. I had heard of people submitting 30,000 word applications to meet the ACS Core Body of Knowledge (CBOK) requirements.

Feeling the need for extra support, I hired an Australian Migration Agent, Peter Chiam who specializes in assisting clients with the RPL process. Peter was fantastic and guided me through the process, tackling each area of the CBOK one at a time. After about one month of work, I had completed my application, and submitted it to the Australian Computer Society for assessment.

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