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I've just been to the Migration Agents Roundtable in London hosted by VETASSESS to update and discuss about new and current procedures as well as to talk about how migration agents and VETASSESS can work together to be of more assistance to the applicants. I thought I'd share something that might be of relevance especially to those applying under trade skills assessment with VETASSESS. One of the heads overseeing assessments for trade occupations emphasised on the fact that a statutory declaration isn't really necessary. It can just be on an ordinary paper with all the contact details of the person writing the reference. Filipinos were actually an example he used since they've got a lot of applicants from Philippines - saying to save them time and further costs. Stat dec or not doesn't really make a difference for them so no point wasting time and money given that people from India and Philippines spend a lot of money already. Note that this only applies for trade skills assessment with VETASSESS.
Also, it was mentioned that evidence of the health insurance paid by the employer is another way of proving employment in case the applicant finds it hard to provide tax documents. This issue, he mentioned, is especially common from applicants who worked in the Middle East, according to him, it takes months to get copies of tax documents that's why they recently started accepting the health insurance evidence. Again, this only relates to trade skills assessment with VETASSESS.