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claudiodr posted a topic in General Discussion on ImmigrationI don't feel like working this morning so thought I'd pull a post together offering you info and tips for a 190 SS application. I've not completed the application and don't profess to be an expert, these are simply my opinions, suggestions and recommendations - If this helps anyone even a bit then I'm happy. I am using an agent and what I'd say is if you can afford it, do it! Can it be done without an agent, probably; however there are many pitfalls, the process is hugely time consuming and stressful and if you need to focus on work, selling houses, ordering shipping containers then I believe it's worth the money. I'm not going to recommend agents here, there are a number of posts on this topic so have a look around Step 1 - Collating doc's Below is a list of documents I collated, copied and certified (this is a massive pain in the @rse so prepare yourself for the slog!) Passport – Main applicantPassport – Spouse / DependentsPassport photos for bothPrevious Employer Reference lettersPrevious Employer Employment contractsPrevious Employer Confirmation of resignation (dated)Last 4 payslips from Previous EmployersPrevious Employer P60 tax documents (UK)Current Employer Reference letterCurrent Employer Employment contractMy last 4 payslips from Current EmployerCurrent Employer Pension Plan letter (or other similar documents)Unabridged birth certificateUnabridged marriage certificateQualification – Certificate/Diploma/DegreeConfirmation of graduation letter (confirming study in English)Complete Academic recordInternational Qualifications letter Step 2 - IELTS test PREPARE, PREPARE, PREPARE! This test is not easy (and I am an English, first language speaker). Check out the training materials on the IELTS website. If you go in prepared then you have no reason to stress, so my final tip is take deep breaths and stay calm. Don't get into your own head and don't over-think it! Step 3 - Skills assessment Ah, the dreaded skills assessment! I went through VETASSESS and received a negative first assessment, I then changed my occupation and my re-assessment came back positive in less than 2 days! What the process taught me: Make sure that prior to requesting reference letters and polishing up your CV that you go to the Aus Bureau of Statistics website and read through the Indicative Skill Levels and Tasks for your occupation. This should form the foundation of what is in the references and CV. You cannot copy the information word for word but ensure you adapt what your roles and responsibilities are to the specific requirements on ABS. I did this second time round and my positive assessment happened in days! If you're on good terms with your old bosses, ask them to read the ABS website before writing the reference and ask them to base the letter on those tasks.If you've not heard back in 12 weeks (from when they receive the hard copies, not online app unfortunately!) then call them! I did (after 16 weeks!) and they were super friendly and helpful and it was the lady there that actually recommended I change my occupation!If you do need a reassessment, ask for the same assessing officer, it fast tracked my application.Step 4 - State Sponsorship / EOI Here my agent basically did everything for me. The only thing I'd say is do LOADS of research of the State you're applying to. For ACT I needed a Commitment letter (attached), this is your opportunity to show that you're interested, that you've read up on the areas and would fit well in the community. GOOGLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND, but some other good research tools to help you start include: http://www.saaustralia.orghttp://www.abs.gov.auhttp://www.wikipedia.org/http://www.realestate.com.auhttp://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/http://www.seek.com.auWell that's about all I can comment on as I've only just submitted my SS application. Other suggestions, some of which have no basis on any experience or concrete facts would be: Hound your agent, this is your right! If you're not on top of him/her then someone else is and they're getting the best possible service whilst you hang around your mobile pulling your hair out!Engage with people on SAAustralia, this is the best resource I've ever found and everyone wants to help! Likewise, don't be a Lurker, help people, give advice, show support and generally share the love;-) We're in this together, come hell or high water!Don't give up - Nothing worth having comes easy so just keep persevering and you'll find a solution to any problem (unless you're an international arms dealer or you've murdered someone...). No problem is unique, someone on this forum has been through it, just ask for helpRight, I may as well do some work now...hope this is somewhat useful to people entering the process GOOD LUCK C WA Relocation Costs and Budget - Updated 11.04.13.xls Commitment to Canberra Draft.doc