Skip links

What does my employer letter of reference require?


Hello!  By way of introduction my name is Emma Adolph and I am a Senior Migration Agent with EMSA based in Brisbane.  This article will look at the requirements for employment reference letters to support skills assessment applications.

Employment reference letters play an important part of the skills assessment application process.  Employment references are required to verify your employment experience and demonstrate that you have the skills and experience to work in your nominated occupation.

Requirements for employment references vary depending on the skills assessment body assessing your occupation.  In the most part employment reference letters should be printed on company letterhead and provide contact details of the employer.  The reference letters need to confirm the duration of your employment including start and end dates, the position/s you held, whether your employment was full-time or part-time, if you were employed on a permanent or casual basis and the hours you work per week.  Some assessing bodies also require your employer to state the annual salary applicable to your role.  The employment reference letters should also give a detailed description of your tasks and duties performed.  We would recommend a minimum of at least 5 points.  The reference letter should then be signed off by an authorized person preferably your direct manager or supervisor.

It is imperative that your employment reference letters follow these basic guidelines.  As mentioned earlier each assessing body is different and may require additional industry specific information. In the event that your employment reference letters do not meet these specific requirements this may result in processing delays if further information is required or could result in a negative outcome being received.

Reference letters that are not in the English language will need to be translated.

 In the case where you are unable to obtain employment references due to changes in the company or business closure for example, you may need to provide statutory declarations to verify your employment history.

 By engaging EMSA to assist with your Australian visa matter we will provide you with expert advice and guidance when preparing your employment references and supporting documentation for your application.

Best of luck with your application!


  1. Why is important to provide accurate information when applying for a visa? | Education and Migration Services Australia | Blog
  2. Post comment


    Will you please tell me about the language and activities which should be included into REFERRAL LETTER in case of Software Developer designation.

    Are REFERRAL LETTER and Experience Letter same or different ?

    What if one work in University but working as software developer then will referral letter would be considered for skill assessment?

    1. Post comment

      Dear Arvind,
      Referral letter/ reference letter/ experience letter – They are all different names for a document that summarises work experience.
      It should include few important details: Name of Employing Business, Name of manager,position title, period of employment, tasks and duties.
      Letter should be written on the letterhead, be signed and have a stamp (if possible).

      1. Post comment

        my referral letter has the following: letterhead of the company with telephone numbers, dates of employment, job title and job description and number of hours per week. The assessment body accepted it. Would there be any problem if I use the same referral letter on visa lodging? It does not contain my amount of salary and it does not have contact number although it has telephone nos on the letterhead. I hope you can enlighten me.

  3. Post comment


    My employer is not willing to mention the working hours in the letterhead and they say they can only provide an experience letter in their own standard format.

    I was working on permanent basis for average 40 hours per week. However, they are not agreeing to mention the same in their letterhead.

    What alternative do I have to get my skill assessment done.



Join the Discussion

Return to top of page