Question of the Week

Wondering how a travel exemption application can benefit your skills assessment?

Category: Visa for Australia

Question asked

I am requesting a travel exemption as a doctorate level licensed psychologist child psychologist specializing in testing for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Australia has a shortage of ASD testing specialists, leading to lengthy waiting periods.

As my partner lives in Tasmania, I am seeking to become a licensed Australian psychologist via the Transitional Program for Overseas Qualified Psychologists.

The first step is to find an Australian psychologist/employer who will hire and supervise me as I go through the transitional program. This is the purpose of my travel exemption request.

I need to meet with psychologists in Tasmania, who will need to observe my work over time, to determine whether they are willing to hire me in the future.

I already have a standard visa but would like to obtain one that would allow me to qualify under the exemption/critical skill type program so that I may enter the country soon  

J., Psy.D., California Psych License XYZ.

Answer provided by Migration Agent

Hello J.,

Thank you for your request for immigration advice. I will try to answer your query as succinctly as possible.

Your skills as a registered psychologist are in demand throughout Australia, but particularly in the regions, Tasmania being one such region. The Skilled Occupation List has Clinical Psychologist, Educational Psychologist, Organizational Psychologist and all other specialties in psychology listed as critical and in demand occupations.

The practice of psychology is therefore classed as an eligible skilled occupation, so subject to a positive skills assessment, your qualifications in psychology make you eligible to migrate to Australia under the following visa types: skilled independent (this scheme is points-tested), employer sponsored, skilled regional (whether sponsored/nominated by the State, Territory or family). There is also a temporary skills shortage visa and training visa which you could potentially qualify for.

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) is the assessing body for psychologists applying to migrate to Australia under the aforementioned skilled migration categories, meaning, they are the regulatory body charged with issuing the positive skills assessment needed to apply for skills-based migration.

For more information on the process of obtaining a positive skills assessment, please visit the following link:

If you are seeking to enter the country both to see your partner and have discussions with prospective employers on future work and/or nomination possibilities, the following is now currently an option:

Travel to Australia on the basis of you being an immediate family member of an Australian. Spouses of Australians are considered to be immediate family members.

The current directive means that temporary visa holders are required to supply evidence of their relationship to an Australian citizen or permanent resident through the Department’s Travel Exemption Portal.

Please note that the nature of your stay in Australia will be linked to your current travel visa (that is, assuming you have an eVisitor visa).

Lastly, depending on the conditions attached to your current visa, it may be possible to apply for a further visa onshore, relating to your intentions to migrate on a more permanent basis (the e-visa is considered to be a substantive visa for the purposes of applying for a further Australian visa when onshore/within Australia).

Regarding the possibility of travel to Australia based on your qualifications and work experience, the current travel directive means the subclass 408 visa for critical industry sector workers is only available for applicants currently in Australia. Please visit the following link for clarification:

To end, the borders will eventually open further, and your occupation is certainly in demand. The skilled migration option would be the one offering a clear pathway to permanent residency and citizenship. Starting that process would commence with applying for a positive skills assessment through the APS. Read more about your skills assessment Australia: Skills Assessment Australia

Hope this helps clarify the process for you, any further questions please do not hesitate to ask!

Thank you for using Ask-An-Agent. If you need further services from myself, you can always message me using the Ask-An-Agent messenger. You can also reach me by contacting Amy at – and don’t forget to mention your question ID so that I can keep providing immigration services to you.

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