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Neo Phoenix Pty Ltd
Lawyers & Registered Migration Agents

We are experienced Solicitors and Registered Migration Agents with a proven track record. We offer personalised service with a reasonable fee structure.

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Australian Qualification Framework

Australian Qualifications Framework

All tertiary qualifications in Australia are classified according to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) The AQF was designed by the Australian Government to ensure that Australian qualification titles are the same throughout the country and that they represent the same high standard of education.

What is the AQF?

The AQF regulates all Australian qualifications providing clear rules on the level of education each qualification title represents. The framework is designed in a sequential fashion so that each qualification generally leads into the next qualification up the education framework.

Having a system that is standard across the whole country makes it easier for people to continue their education as there is a clear pathway to follow no matter what state or territory they are in. Thus transferring between different states, territories and universities much easier as there is no confusion caused by differing qualification titles and education levels.

The AQF is one reason Australia provides such high quality education as each qualification title has rules as to what level of education the title must represent and provide.

AQF qualifications by education sector

Schools Sector

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Higher Education Sector

Senior Secondary Certificate of Education

Vocational Graduate Diploma

Doctoral Degree

VET in Schools

Vocational Graduate Certificate

Masters Degree

Advanced Diploma

Graduate Diploma


Graduate Certificate

Certificate IV

Bachelor Degree

Certificate III

Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma

Certificate II


Certificate I

There are 3 main sectors in the AQF - Schools, Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher Education.

In addition to these qualifications, the AQF also includes a Statement of Attainment which is issued when only part of a qualification is completed. It is a formal record of completion of part of an AQF qualification.

Overseas students and the AQF

The AQF makes course search for overseas students easy as the qualification levels are equivalent throughout Australia. Therefore you can focus on finding the best course and university for your needs, without having to consider what each qualification title means. In addition, overseas students who complete a qualification within the AQF will easily be able to understand the entrance requirements for higher qualifications should they wish to continue their studies; for example, from undergraduate to postgraduate study.

The AQF also enhances Australia's worldwide reputation for quality qualifications, as other countries can understand what level of education each Australian qualification represents.

There are a limited number of courses not part of the AQF that are also available to international students. These courses are designed to help students meet course entry requirements or to lead to further study resulting in an AQF qualification such as foundation studies.

Comparisons between overseas qualifications and AQF qualifications

To find out if your home country qualification satisfies entrance requirements for an Australian course you will need to check withyour chosen education provider(s).

You can find more information on international qualification recognition at .

Further information

The Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), lists all the courses and education providers that are registered within the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Act 2000 to enrol overseas students.

The Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) regulates the education and training sector's involvement with overseas students studying in Australia on student visas. It does this through the ESOS Act and associated legislation which protects the interests of these students by providing tuition and financial assurance. The legislation mandates a nationally consistent approach to registering education providers so that the quality of the tuition, and associated pastoral services offered to students, remains high.

For more information visit .

For the pruposes of applying for skilled permanent residency upon completion of eligible studies it is important that overseas students study a registered course at a registered education provider. Each institution and course registered on CRICOS has an identifying CRICOS number. The institution number must be shown on all promotional material offered to overseas students. If there is no number, then the institution may not be registered to teach overseas students.

Private colleges that offer higher education must be registered with the AQF as eligible to offer higher education qualifications. The AQF Register lists all courses and providers that are currently registered at .

A listing of all vocational education qualifications that are recognised by the AQF can be found on the National Training Information Service website at .

Further information on AQF qualifications, the AQF Register and learning pathways, together with direct links to other relevant websites, is available on the AQF website at .

Migration Amendment Regulations 2006 (No.4) which took affect from10th July 2006 affecting all General Skilled Migration applications by adding a the following time of decision criteria:

"If the [skills assessment application/approval] is made on the basis of a qualification obtained in Australia while the applicant was the holder of a student visa, the qualification was obtained as a result of full time study of a registered course".

Therefore any applicant who holds a positive skills assessment based on a non-CRICOS registered course cannot meet the time of decision criteria.

This will of course affect all students who for example completed a non-CRICOS registered commercial cookery course, or telecommunications linesperson course in addition to their approved course of study.

Furthermore under the transitional provisions in Clause 4 of these Regs, these changes apply not just to those application lodged from 1 July 2006, but also to all existing applications before DIMA or the MRT which have not been finally determined.

These amendments are effective for all new applications lodged from 1 July 2006.

Level 1 Service - Make an Informed Study Choice

We have extensive experience in reccomending courses and organising Student Visas for overseas students wanting to apply for skilled permanent residency upon completion of their studies.

As part of the Level 1 Service we will provide extensive Course Counselling services including making course reccommendations which fit your studying and migration goals.

The Level 1 Service will include a list of recommend courses for your consideration, together with an explanation of the search criteria used, and links to web pages which you can visit for further details.

After you have examined our course reccommendations and reasoning, collectively we can then proceed to narrow the recommendations to one or two courses by examining the criteria that are relevant to your particular situation, such as length of the course, entry requirements, starting dates, tuition costs, credit transfer arrangements, location, life style, cost of living and student support facilities.

Once you have deicded on a particular course you can appoint us as your Agent to manage your course enrolment and Student Visa Aapplication via the Level 3 Service. This service is only available to those potential overseas students who have first purchased the Level 1 Service advice document and been assessed therein as having a reasonable prospect of meeting the entry requirements for the particular type of study they are interested in, and also the applicable student visa requirements.

Please complete the Online Consultation and make payment for our Level 1 Service so that Mr. Andre Congiu, Registered Migration Agent 0319022 can analyse your profile, determine your eligibility and advise you further on how to secure an Australian Student Visa. Payment can be made by credit card on our secure website. For alternate payment options please contact

The Level 1 Service allows for a professional assessment of your student visa eligibility and preparation of a written document containing all the advice, information, application forms and support to successfully manage a student visa application. This is our most popular service and many clients have successfully utilised this affordable alternative to traditional migration consultancy.

This service also comes with our ongoing email support via the Ask An Agent Service . Our email support is now unlimited. It is our interest to ensure our clients are satisfied with our service, and if successful in migration know they can rely on us for any help and support they may need to make the transition to Australian life as easy as possible.

For more information on what this service includes and any of our other services please contact