Publish Date: May 02, 2012
From 1 July 2012, a new online system will change how Australia manages its skilled migration program with the introduction of the SkillSelect initiative, which will replace the current visa application process with an online Expression of Interest (EOI) system that is designed to streamline the scheme and significantly reduce visa processing times.
Under the initiative, skilled workers interested in the independent skilled, family sponsored skilled, State or Territory sponsored skilled or business skills visa programs, will have to complete an online form outlining their particular skill set.
If their qualifications are considered suitable for a particular skilled migration visa, they will then be invited to formally lodge a visa application, and the online visa application system will use information from the EOI in relation to the formal visa application process.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship expects the new system will reduce visa processing times, address regional skill shortages, whilst ensuring that the new skilled migration system will address the economic needs of the nation.
Using the new EOI System
Under the new SkillSelect scheme, an EOI will indicate that a person would like to be considered for a particular visa and for most types of skilled visas, the new EOI System will be a compulsory part of the application process that will affect some of the following visas: independent skilled visas, regional sponsored, business skilled, and State or Territory sponsored visas. However, the new scheme will not apply to employer sponsored or temporary business (long stay) visas.
What type of information is required by an applicant?
To complete an EOI under the new SkillSelect system, an individual will be required to provide the following:
· the person’s personal information
· the person’s nominated occupation
· the person’s previous work experience
· any study and education qualifications
· information regarding their level of English skills
· details of their skills assessment that is related to their nominated occupation
· any business and investment experience.
In order to successfully complete an EOI, all visa requirements for that particular visa must be met and the Government will not charge a fee to submit an EOI under the SkillSelect system.
How does the application process work?
Using the General Skilled Migration visa as our example, an applicant will be required to nominate a profession from a list of key occupations which is required in Australia. Afterwards, an assessment will be conducted by the relevant body that has knowledge about the nominated profession. So for example, if an applicant is an architect then their skills will be assessed by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia who will verify their qualifications and make an assessment on whether or not their skills meet the requirements.
The Government will apply a ranking to a particular visa based on a points test that is used to determine a person’s eligibility to work in the country. Following the completion of an EOI, an applicant will receive notification of their points score (and eligibility) based on claims submitted in their application.
Depending on the type of visa applied for (and EOI submitted), an individual may receive an invitation to lodge a visa application, or may be contacted by an employer to discuss working in Australia.
Are there any limits to the number of applicants available for an occupation?
The process will be subject to occupation ceilings, meaning that limits will be set on how many EOIs are selected for migration from a particular occupation category and information in regards to occupation ceilings will be available on the SkillSelect website.
As part of the EOI process, applicants will also be able to indicate where they are willing to work in Australia, and in the case of Independent and family sponsored visas, invitations will be automatically issued on a regular basis to the highest ranking eligible EOIs.
A completed EOI will remain in the SkillSelect system for 2 years, until an applicant is both invited for, and granted, a particular visa, or the EOI expires. Additionally, an applicant will be entitled to remove their EOI at any time.
It is recommended that any applicant who is submitting an EOI have all supporting documentation (such as results of English language tests for example) completed at the time of application. Additionally, any applicant who has been invited to submit a visa application following an EOI, will only have 60 days to do so before the invitation expires and the application becomes invalid.
Any person who requires further information or assistance in regards to the SkillSelect scheme, should contact a specialist in the area of migration law for help in regards to their application.