Overseas Degree Recognition In Australia: A Complete Guide


International students want to know if their overseas qualification is recognised in Australia.


When it comes to educational standards, Australian universities are placed top of the world ranking. 


Students worldwide wish to study at Australian universities because companies regard these degrees very highly.


Learning about your overseas degree recognition in Australia is beneficial if you plan to study, work or migrate there. It helps you ensure your Australian education institution will recognise your qualifications for admission.



1. What Is Qualification Recognition?


If you are looking to work in Australia as a skilled migrant or study in Australia, you must assess your overseas qualifications to ensure they align with Australian standards.


Overseas Qualification Assessment assists Australian educational institutions, and employers understand your education level in Australian terms to decide whether you can study and gain employment in Australia.



2. Who Assesses Overseas Qualifications In Australia?


There is no single authority but a group of stakeholders that assesses/recognises all overseas qualifications in Australia.


The type of authority that will assess your international qualification depends on your occupation and where you wish to migrate in Australia.


Education institutes recognise overseas qualifications for international students who want to study in Australia.


Let's have a look at the different overseas qualifications recognition scenarios for Australia:


For Academic Purposes


Education institutions/RTOs and higher education providers in Australia have the authority to recognise overseas qualifications to decide the applicant's suitability for admission to study in Australia.



For Professional Purposes


Most overseas students' typical question is - Can I work in Australia with my degree?


The skilled migration program in Australia contributes to the workforce and economic requirements in skills areas identified by the Australian government.


Candidates with overseas qualifications must obtain a positive skill assessment for a relevant visa to work in Australia. Government-approved assessing authorities issue Skills Assessments in Australia.


The work requirements in Australia depend on the profession, such as:



For Specific Occupations


An applicant may require specialised skills and knowledge and possess registration, licence, professional membership, and other industry requirements to work in that profession.


Check the comprehensive Skilled Occupations list to find whether your occupation is listed on the special occupation list in Australia. You will also know which assessment authority will be liable to assess your qualifications.



For General Purposes


Applicants can skip specific requirements to get a job in Australia. They need to contact an Australian state or territory government, the "Overseas Qualifications Unit" (OQU), to determine whether their overseas qualification compares in Australia.


OQU is the national office of overseas skills recognition in Australia. An OQU assesses your overseas qualification in general terms or offers advice on recognising your international qualifications in the country.


Below is a list of OQU (Overseas Qualification Unit) services available in Australia for the assessment of overseas qualifications:


  • Australian Capital Territory - OQU, ACT Office of Multicultural Affairs.

  • New South Wales - There is no OQU in NSW. However, you can contact Training Services NSW to get your trade qualifications assessed in the state. 

  • Northern Territory - Skills Recognition Centre

  • Queensland - OQU, Department of Employment, Small Business and Training

  • South Australia - Skilled Arrival Services

  • Tasmania - Tasmanian Assessment, Standards, and Certification?

  • Victoria - OQU, Skilled and Business Migration Program

  • Western Australia - OQU, Department of Training and Workforce Development



3. How To Get Overseas Trade Qualifications Recognised In Australia?


Overseas students often wonder if their degree is recognised in Australia. You must apply for your overseas qualification assessment in the state you wish to study or work in Australia. 


The Overseas Qualification Unit of Australia's Department of Employment provides free overseas degree recognition in Australia for Australian citizens or Permanent Residents in Australia.


Overseas qualification assessments are conducted based on guidelines laid down by the government in Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF).



These Guidelines Cover 127 Countries and Include The Following:


  • Assessment guidelines for higher education, post-secondary vocational education, and technical qualifications and how they compare with AQF qualifications.


  • Information on the academic year, admission requirements, grading systems, courses, qualification requirements, instruction language, types of institutions, quality assurance, and accreditation.


Note: As the overseas qualification recognition process varies between states in Australia, you need to check your state's official website to get a precise understanding of the process. 



4. Overseas Qualification Recognition In Different States of Australia



Queensland (QLD) - Overseas Qualification Recognition In 



Step 1 – Check Your Eligibility for Assessment


  • You should live in Queensland

  • You should have consent to work or study in Australia

  • You should have a technical, post-secondary, higher education, or higher-level vocational qualification abroad

  • You should have completed a qualification at a recognised educational institution.

  • Your qualification should not be – secondary school academic awards, incomplete, trade qualifications, completed in Australia, short courses (<1-year full-time courses), or did not lead to an award either at undergraduate or vocational.


If you don't reside in QLD and want to get your skills recognised for migration purposes, contact the Department of Home Affairs. Registered migration agents may offer you fee-based assistance with your assessment process.


Consider Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) to get your overseas trade skills recognised. It can recognise your past training and skills and may lead to an Australian qualification being awarded.


You may be eligible for a credit transfer to study a qualification at an educational institution in Australia. The process examines the subjects you studied overseas and may award you credits for admission to an Australian qualification. 



Step 2: Apply For The Assessment


If you are eligible for an assessment, download and complete the Application for the Overseas Qualification Assessment .


Submit the form with A4-sized certified copies to Overseas Qualification Unit via post or email.


  • Proof of Australian residency status (VEVO/visa)

  • Degree, certificate, or diploma in the original language and its official English translation (if they are not in the English language)

  • Mark sheet or full academic transcript that displays the number of years, subjects studied, and outcome in the original language and an official English translation

  • Evidence of name change (if applicable).



You will receive written formal assessment advice if they can assess your qualifications.


Otherwise, they will advise you on further options to consider to get your qualifications recognised.


Click here to learn more about the qualification assessment process.



Victoria (VIC) - Overseas Qualification Recognition


Overseas qualifications assessments in Victora are used only for general employment when your job doesn't need professional membership, registration, licensing, or other industry requirements. You must live in Victoria to be eligible for assessments.


Follow the below steps to get your overseas qualifications assessed.



Step 1: Choose The Suitable Overseas Qualifications Assessments


Different organisations manage different types of overseas qualification assessments.


So, choosing the right assessment type to suit your purposes is essential. You can find below the different assessment types that depend on your circumstances:


  • Incomplete Overseas Qualification – Contact the Registered Training Organisation. It may issue a statement of attainment and recommend further training if the equivalent qualification remains incomplete.


  • Employment in a Regulated Profession in Australia – Contact the Skills Assessment and assessing authority, the Department of Home Affairs website


  • Migrating to Australia – Contact the Skills Assessment and assessing authorities, the Department of Home Affairs websiteContact the Holiday or vacation visas section on the Department of Home Affairs website for temporary work in Australia.


  • Recognition of a Secondary School Qualification – contact the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.


  • Working in Victoria with a Recognised Overseas Qualification – Contact the Overseas Qualifications Unit to secure work in Victoria.


  • Further Study in The State/Country – Contact the university or education provider to assess your qualifications. 



Type of qualifications that the Overseas Qualifications Unit DOES NOT assess:


  • Australian degrees or qualifications

  • Overseas short courses (<1-year full-time study), diplomas, or single-subject certificates

  • Overseas licenses, work experience documents, or permits

  • International trade qualifications or apprenticeships



Step 2: Apply for Assessment


Eligible candidates can follow the below steps to submit their application for Overseas Qualifications Unit assessment:


  1. Complete the online application form.

  2. Create an Overseas Qualification Unit Community account and submit your online application form.

  3. Upload scanned copies of relevant supporting documents ONLY in PDF:


  • Visa Details - Certified copy of your visa document or passport photo page or bio page


  • Personal Details  - Victorian address proof like a utility bill, Certified evidence of name change (if applicable), and Legal declaration for spelling irregularities (if applicable).


  • Qualification 1 - Award - Certified copy of your final award certificate, or a Certified copy of your prerequisite qualification, the final award only (if applicable) in its original language. If they are not in English, provide an English translation of documents from an official translator.


  • Qualification 1 - Academic Transcripts - Certified copy of your academic transcript (mark sheet) in its original language (and English translation from a permitted translator if necessary).


The application processing time is up to six weeks. Repeat the above process for each qualification you wish to get assessed.


For more details, click here.



South Australia (SA) - Overseas Qualification Recognition


Follow the below steps to get your international qualifications assessed in South Australia.



Step 1: Check Your Eligibility



If you fulfil these conditions, you can apply for your overseas qualifications assessment through the online Skilled and Business Migration Portal.


Note: The OQU unit DOESN'T ASSESS the following qualifications:


  • Trade qualifications 

  • Incomplete qualifications 

  • Work experience

  • Single subjects

  • English language skills

  • Secondary education qualifications 

  • Short Qualifications completed in less than six months or one semester of full-time study

  • Qualifications completed in Australia.



You DO NOT NEED an Overseas Qualification Recognition (OQR) in the Below Cases:


  • If you require study credits 

  • For migration objectives

  • For licensing or registration of an occupation 



Step 2: Get Certified Copies of The Following Documents in PDF or JPEG Format


(An authorised person for document verification could be a Police officer, RN, Justice of the Peace, or a pharmacist)


Attach the following supporting documents with your online assessment application:


  • Identity Proof: Australian Birth certificate, Australian Driver's licence, Australian Citizenship certificate, or a valid passport (photo and signature page).


  • Proof of Change of Name: (if applicable)


  • Proof of Residential Address in South Australia: Phone bill, Bank account statement, Utility bill, Rental agreement, or a Driver's licence.


  • Certified qualification documents: You must provide certified copies of the following documents for each qualification to be assessed: The Award certificate (degree, qualification, or diploma certificate), The Academic mark sheet/ transcript displaying all years of study, any supplementary qualification document to recognise your overseas qualifications, All documents translated into English by an approved translator (if applicable), certified copies of your undergraduate qualification for assessment of post-graduate qualifications such as a Graduate Diploma or Master's degree, Certified copies of documents concerning studies finished before analysis, like Senior High School, to assess your technical/vocational qualifications.


  • Proof of Visa Status: Immigration Grant Notification (granted by the Department of Home Affairs), or Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO)



Step 3: Apply For Your Qualification Assessment 


  • Create a profile on the Skilled and Business Migration portal under the registration type 'Skilled Migrant' and log in.

  • Under Services, choose 'to apply for an Overseas Qualification Recognition.'

  • Fill out the relevant information in the application form and upload your documents.

  • Select "Add" to get your multiple qualifications assessed.

  • Submit the application.



Step 4: Receive an Assessment Outcome


After your application gets assessed, the government issues an OQR assessment advice that verifies the education level comparison between the Australian Qualifications Framework and your overseas qualification. Based on the Country Education Profiles, you will receive assessment advice.


Click here for more information on overseas qualification recognition in SA.



New South Wales (NSW) - Overseas Qualification Recognition


As there is no Overseas Qualification Unit in NSW, you must contact Training Services NSW for your trade qualification recognition in the state.



Western Australia (WA) - Overseas Qualification Recognition In


Overseas Qualifications Unit at WA offers a free assessment service to get your higher education or tertiary qualification recognised.



Step 1: Meet the Overseas Degree Recognition in Australia Requirements


  • You should be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident of Australia currently living in Western Australia or


  • A temporary resident with permission to study or work in Western Australia and currently residing in Western Australia.


  • You should have completed any of the post-secondary qualifications: Formal vocational and technical qualification (equivalent to an Australian Certificate IV and above), or formal higher education qualifications (equivalent to an Australian bachelorBachel's or degree and above).



Qualifications NOT ELIGIBLE  For OQU Assessment:


  • Incomplete qualifications, single subject certificates, and short courses (below one-year full-time study)

  • Professional memberships/registration and work experience 

  • Qualifications for migration objectives when applying for a visa require a skills assessment.

  • Contact the state's TAFE college or Apprenticeship Office to assess overseas trade qualifications, apprenticeships, or Australian qualifications. 

  • Visit the School Curriculum and Standards Authority website to get your secondary school certificate or qualifications assessed. 



Step 2: Prepare Necessary Documents


  • Residency Proof - Certified copy of passport, Australian citizenship certificate, visa document, or immigration card (for refugees only)


  • Personal Details - Certified proof of name change (if applicable), Legal declaration for spelling irregularities between documents (if appropriate)


  • Qualification Award - Certified copy of your final degree, diploma, or other qualification certificate in the original language. You may require attaching a certified copy of the English translation from a state-approved translator (if applicable).


  • Academic Record - Certified copy of secondary school certificate in original language and academic transcript from the awarding institution mentioning all years of study, exams/courses completed, grades/scores, and credits. 



Step 3: Submit Your Application Online


Submit your completed online application form with the required supporting documents.


Once submitted, you will receive your assessment outcome from OQU at your email address within 20 working days.


For more details on OQU skill assessment, click here.



5. Frequntly Asked Questions (FAQs)



Can International Graduates Work in Australia?


Yes. However, before applying for a job, you must get your overseas professional or trade skills and qualifications formally assessed and recognised in Australia.


Overseas Qualification Assessment serves as qualification evidence for:


  • Potential employers, recruitment agents, and human resource departments

  • Resumes/CVs, i.e., mentioning that the state-level OQU unit has recognised your qualification and including the Australian-equivalent result.

  • Educational institutions and professional associations, including admitting institutions or professional bodies.


After the assessment, the OQU issues you a formal written document, "Assessment Advice," if the state government recognises your overseas qualifications.


Australia offers different types of visas for overseas students that permit them to work while they study or spend a holiday in Australia.


Graduated overseas students may be eligible for the following:


  • The Post-Study Work stream of the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) if they have finished a Bachelor, Master, or Doctoral degree.

  • Submit an EOI or Expression of Interest via the government's SkillSelect platform to gain approval to stay as a professional worker in Australia.

  • State/ territory government nomination for skilled and business migration.


For more details, visit the Department of Home Affairs.



Are Foreign Degrees Recognised in Australia?


Yes. Australia's National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR) system recognises/assesses students' qualifications from other nations.


The system enables academic institutions to assess education qualifications from overseas, helping international students continue their studies in Australia.



How Do I Know If My Degree is Recognised in Australia? 


After you apply for skill recognition, you will receive a written official document, "Assessment Advice," if your qualification can be assessed.


Otherwise, they suggest further alternatives to consider to get your qualifications recognised.



What is The Qualification Recognition Policy in Australia?


The Australian Qualifications Framework is the national policy for all regulated qualifications in training and education in Australia.


It comprises the qualifications from each training and education sector into a single comprehensive national qualifications framework.



How Can I Validate my Degree in Australia?


Whether you wish to continue your studies or work in your academic area, you must validate your overseas qualification in Australia.


Here are the steps to perform the validation process:



To Study in Australia


To validate your overseas qualifications to study for a Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate Degree in Australia, you must consider whether your academic area is recognised in the country. 


The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) program validates the past formal or informal student's experience or skills that can be used as credits to lower the study duration in Australia.


Additionally, you must obtain the IELTS certificate with its required score.



To Work in Australia


The concerned authority in Australia will validate your overseas qualification based on your occupation area.


The validation process may vary based on the student's professional area. It may require practical exams and even internships in the Australian workplace before obtaining professional validation.


For professions that don't need a license/registration/official membership, the easiest way to validate your international qualification is by requesting a free-overseas qualifications assessment online on the state government's portal.


In this case, the state-level OQU unit evaluates your qualification, showing the comparable qualification to your occupation in Australia to a potential employer. This way, it serves as a guide to the employer to make the hiring decision.


On the contrary, the process might take longer for professions requiring a specific license and cost you money. The responsible authority will assess your grades and course. It might conduct interviews to evaluate your subject-matter expertise, English proficiency, etc.



How Can I Study A Bachelor Degree in Australia For International Students?


If you are looking to get entry into an undergraduate degree, you need to make sure that you meet the Australian higher education institutions' qualification criteria:



When You Have Completed Secondary School in Australia:


  • International students who completed their year 12 in Australia can apply for undergraduate degrees. However, they must complete an Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education offered in the state and gain an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) or Overall Position (OP) in Queensland




When You have Completed a Secondary School Overseas:


  • International students who have completed secondary school in their home country or overseas can apply for entrance into Australia's higher education institutions using their qualification evidence. 


  • If your qualification is not recognised, you must undertake preparatory studies to meet the entrance requirements. However, to enter any of the recognised institutions in Australia, you will be required to meet English language requirements in your chosen course. 


  • Make sure to contact your institution to get more specific information on this. 



When You Have Completed an International Qualification:


  • Many students who have completed their secondary school overseas intend to study an undergraduate course in Australia. If you are one of them, you must complete an international qualification for tertiary preparation, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course helps to prepare students for the global environment. 


  • This 2-year pre-university IB diploma programme is completed by secondary school students and is highly recognised for university entrance in more than 140 countries. The scores can be easily converted into Australia's ATAR ranking.


  • Other international qualifications recognised by Australian institutions are the Advanced International Certification of Education and the GCE A Levels. Contact your institution to get precise information about the admission requirements. 



How Can I Study A Master Degree in Australia For International Students?


  • The minimum requirement to enter a postgraduate course in Australia is proof of your undergraduate qualification, as it is comparable to an Australian Bachelor'sBachelor's degree from a recognised institution.


  • To enter some courses, students must complete their undergraduate in a similar field, while other courses accept undergraduate qualifications in any discipline. Also, to enter some courses, students need to appear in auditions, tests, or complete portfolios. 



  • The experience and qualifications you need to enter a postgraduate study depend on several factors. So make sure to check with your education provider to understand precise details. 




Useful Topics to Explore:

⇒ Student Visa Complete Guide  
⇒ Scholarships for International Students
⇒ Australian Universities Scholarship Table 
⇒ What does it cost to study in Australia?
⇒ Types of Education in Australia 
⇒ Australian Qualification Framework (AQF)

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