Expression of Interest
From 1 July, 2012 all skilled visa applicants are required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the Skilled Migrant Selection Register – commonly known as SkillSelect. The purpose of SkillSelect is to match the best qualified applicants to the number of skilled visas available.
EOIs are placed on the SkillSelect and are ranked within their occupation according to the number of points scored on the visa points test. Each month the Department of Immigration selects those applications most highly ranked in each occupation to receive an invitation to lodge a full visa application. Once an invitation is issued, applicants have only 60 days to lodge a visa application with all supporting evidence. This means a skills assessment and (if applicable) an English test should be completed prior to submitting the EOI as 60 days is not long enough to obtain these. EOIs remain on the SkillSelect until they receive an invitation or for two years. As new EOIs are continually received, only those with a competitive points score or those that are selected for sponsorship by a state or territory government will receive an invitation.
An occupation ceiling has also been set by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to ensure that an even spread of occupations receive visas each year. The occupation ceiling places a limit on the number of visas available in each occupation annually – once this limit is reached applicants in that occupation will have to wait until the next visa programme year (beginning every 1 July) to be eligible to receive an invitation. Because of this, submitting an EOI earlier rather than later is advised.
When submitting an EOI, applicants can indicate that they wish to be considered for state or territory sponsorship. If doing so, they elect which states/territories they are interested in being sponsored by – their sponsorship options being limited to those states/territories which offer sponsorship to their occupation. State and territory governments then search the SkillSelect and using their own selection criteria choose who to sponsor from those interested in line with their State Migration Plan. Those selected by a state/territory for sponsorship will then receive an invitation to lodge a visa application from DHA.
If they also choose, applicants can indicate that they wish Australian employers to have access to their information on the SkillSelect. Interested Australian employers can then contact applicants directly regarding sponsorship through the separate employer sponsorsed visa programme.
An EOI application requires biographical information to be provided, including qualifications and work history. It also requires a claim for points to be made against the visa points test. Supporting documentary evidence is not required at the EOI stage. All information provided and points claimed must though be honest and entirely correct as the EOI will be later cross-matched against the final visa application where comprehensive supporting documentation is required. Any discrepancies or points illegitimately claimed will likely lead to a visa application refusal and could also result in you receiving a three-year ban from applying again because of application fraud.
Because of this, a strong EOI application that is entirely accurate is important. Likewise is consistency between the EOI and subsequent skilled visa application. A professionally prepared EOI and visa application lodged by a Registered Migration Agent, therefore, provides your best guarantee of success. We can also ensure you obtain the maximum number of points to ensure you are well placed to receive an invitation to apply.
By completing our free visa eligibility questionnaire we can provide a detailed assessment of your visa eligibility, including your points score and also details on which states and territory sponsorships are available to you.Free Skilled Visa Evaluation