SkillSelect & Expression of Interest System

Publish Date: Nov 04, 2012

On 1 July 2012 the Australian government introduced a major change to its Skilled Migration Program through the implementation of "SkillSelect".                         

SkillSelect means that the following visas cannot be applied for directly:

  • Points-tested skilled visas (Skilled Independent - Subclass 189 visa, Skilled – State Nominated - Subclass 190 visa, and Skilled – State Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional) - Subclass 489 visa); and
  • Business skills visas (Business Talent (Permanent) (Subclass 132) visa and Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) visa).

An invitation from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is required to apply for these visas. SkillSelect involves two stages: lodging an Expression of Interest (Stage 1) on the Department’s online “SkillSelect” system; if successful, Stage 2: an invitation to apply for a skilled visa. 

The Expression of Interest (EOI) is not a visa application, but it does require you to meet all the basic requirements (a completed skills assessment and proof of English skills) for the visa, including reaching a pass mark on the points test. The EOI involves entering all the information required for a visa application into the SkillSelect database. Once the EOI is submitted, it will be valid for two years. 

If you receive an invitation to submit a visa application, you must do so electronically within 60 days. This means it is essential to have all the documentation for your visa application ready before you lodge the EOI. Invitations will be issued on a regular basis. Potential migrants can indicate in their EOI whether they are willing to live and work in a regional part of Australia, which might increase their chances of being invited to apply for a visa.  

An invitation is optional for the following employer sponsored visas which can be applied for directly rather than via the SkillSelect system:

  • Employer Nomination Scheme - Subclass 186 visa;
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme - Subclass 187 visa; and
  • Business Sponsorship – Subclass 457 visa.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship expects the introduction of SkillSelect to decrease the time that applicants need to wait for a skilled visa application to be processed.

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