Trade Licensing for 457 visa holders

May 11 2016   06 AM  

Our partners over at Access Visa Migration Services put together some info about trade licensing for 457 visa holders. If you are qualified in a trade outside of Australia and looking to make a move, read on.....

457 visa holders, trade licensing


Under current migration regulations, holders of a 457 visa must obtain any compulsory licensing within 90 days of arriving in Australia, or within the same timeframe, if already in the country when the visa is granted. 

We strongly recommended that 457 visa holders meet any licensing requirements and ensure to arrange it well in advance of lodging a permanent visa application. 

The most common occupations requiring licences include Electricians, Plumbers, Drainers and Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Mechanics.

The Licensing Process:

Step 1: Obtain an Offshore Technical Skills Record (OTSR)

Applicants are required to complete a positive skills assessment through a TRA-approved RTO to be issued with an OTSR certificate - e.g. Vetassess is an approved RTO for Plumbers from the Ireland, UK and South Africa.

Step 2: Provisional Licence

Once the OTSR certificate is received, overseas licensed trades are eligible to apply for a provisional licence. This licence allows the holder to perform work in the licensed occupation under supervision. 

A provisional licence can be obtained on application from Australian state and territory licensing regulators, subject to applicants meeting other non-skill requirements - e.g. NSW Fair Trading.

Step 3: Australian Gap Training

While working under supervision, OTSR holders must enrol with a relevant RTO and undertake the identified gap training required for their occupation. The process for this gap training differs between electrical, air-conditioning and refrigeration and plumbing occupations.

Step 4: Obtain Australian VET Qualification

On successful completion of both the Australian gap training and a period of supervised employment (up to 12 months), the OTSR holder can apply for the relevant Australian Cert III qualification from the TRA-approved RTO that issued the OTSR, or the RTO that delivered the Australian gap training. 

Step 5: Apply for a full Australian occupational licence

You can present the Cert III qualification to the relevant licensing regulator to be issued with a full tradesperson’s licence, for the particular state or territory you work in.

**Slight variations may apply to the Cert III certification and licensing requirements, based on relevant trade and/or the specific state or territory licensing authority and this nformation is current as of April 2016

For further information and professional assistance with trade licensing, work-related visas and eligibility assessments, contact Access Visas Migration Services on 0410 878 508, or at

If your looking for work on hiring skilled, licenced trades, will get you sorted!