What is "SkillSelect"
SkillSelect is an online service designed to help Australia manage its skilled migration program. It also helps to ensure that the skilled migration program is based on Australia's economic needs. It supports the government in managing who can and who cannot apply for skilled migration, when they can apply and what number of skill workers are required for a particular skill.
Another responsibility of the SkillSeclect is to take care of the skill shortages in different Australian regions. SkillSeclect also provides a platform for the potential Australian migrants, willing to migrate to Australia, to fill these skill shortages by applying for Australian immigration. This is a great benefit not only for Australian employers and state governments (experiencing skill shortages) but also for the intending migrants.
What is "Expression of Interest" or EOI
If you have prepared the basic documents required for Australian immigration and you feel that you seem to fulfill the selection criteria for Australian immigration, your next step should be make an Expression of interest (EOI). The only way to do is to create a FREE account online at SkillSelect. But remember EOI is NOT a visa application.
For the points based on skilled migration programs, such as the independent skilled program or skilled nominated visa, you will be ranked according to your score You may have achieved on the immigration point test. Even if you don’t get the pass score on the immigration point test, you can still submit your EOI, though you are not likely to be invited to apply for a visa in this case.
Though you are shown your point score online, AFTER you have submitted your EOI, you cannot see your ranking for this point score. This is because the ranking keeps on changing when people leave SkillSelect or new people enter it.
You also need to see the occupation page of the eligible skilled professions to see if your selected occupation / profession is listed for the type of the visa you intend to apply for. Once you have submitted your Expression of Interest (EOI), your data will remain stored in SkillSelect for two years. Though incomplete EOI will also remain stored at SkillSelect, they won’t get an invitation to apply for the visa. Similarly incomplete EOI, or EOI not meeting the standard criteria can be removed any time.
Submitting an EOI in SkillSelect
After you have submit your completed EOI, you should a confirmation message from SkillSelect. As mentioned above, your EOI remains in SkillSelect database for a period of two years (at max.). During this period, SkillSelect will calculate your points and assess your eligibility for your proposed visa.
You can view a report to see what points have been awarded to you after you submited your EOI.
You are also allowed access your EOI and update your information at any time. You might consider this option if you have gained new work experience or achieved a higher qualification / improved your English language ability and/or changed your family composition. You should consider this option even when the qualification of your spouse has improved (to claim increased points).
In case you provide new updated information that changes your points score, SkillSelect will update your ranking accordingly to be considered for an invitation automatically. But you must keep in mind that if you are invited to apply for a visa, the information you have already submited in the EOI will be used as part of your application. If they find any incorrect, false or misleading information on your EOI, your application will be refused. So clearly it is your responsibility to access your EOI and update your details honestly if your circumstances change. However, you cannot update your EOI if you have already received an invitation to lodge your visa application. Remember your invitation to apply for the visa will be based upon the information have presented in your EOI.
Completing an EOI
When you complete an EOI in SkillSelect each question has help text available. To access the help text, click on the question mark icon next to the question. If you require further information, visit the SkillSelect Technical Support site.
Receiving Invitation (to apply for the visa)
After submitting your EOI, if you seem to have scored the minimum pass points in your selected visa category, you will receive an invitation to apply for the visa. Even after receiving an invitation to apply for the visa, if your scored points are less than your claimed points in your EOI, your visa can still be refused. So if you see that your achieved points score is less than your claimed points, you should not proceed to apply for the visa. Instead, you should take steps to increase your points, updated your EOI with new correct information and wait for another invitation.
In case you get two invitations from SkillSelect, but you do not apply for the visa, your EOI will be removed from SkillSelect. So to avoid such situation, if you think you are not ready to apply for the visa yet, you should suspend your EOI at SkillSelect. Though this suspension cannot increase the validity period of EOI, you will stop receiving invitations from SkillSelect, which will eliminate the possibility of being removed from SkillSelect under the situation described above.
If you get an invitation from SkillSelect to apply for a permanent visa and then after applying you mange to get the visa, your EOI will be removed from SkillSelect. On the contrary, If you are granted a temporary visa, such as the Subclass 457 Temporary Business (Long-Stay) visa, your EOI will still remain in SkillSelect for future selection unless you withdraw your EOI.
Please note that there can only be one invitation per EOI at a given time even if more than one visa subclass has been selected. You will have 60 days from the date of invitation to make a to apply for the visa, before your invitation expires.
Invitation and Selection Process
Depending upon your chosen visa category, if you manage to get enough point score, you would receive an invitation to apply for the visa. Otherwise, an Australian employer can also contact you to discuss the possibilities of employing and the finally sponsoring you.
Independent and Skilled Regional (Provisional) visas
For this visa category, the SkillSelect system automatically issues invitations for ranking EOIs (provided that the occupation cap has not been reached).
State and territory sponsored visas
The local governments of each of the Australian states and territories, identify and select the required workers themselves for the nomination. If a state or territory government nominates you, and your points are equal or above the pass marks of your chosen visa, the SkillSelect system will automatically issue invitation to apply for the visa. During the completion process of an EOI for one of these visa types, you are asked which state or territory you wish to receive your nomination from. At a time and for one EOI, you can choose only one state or territory. The government officials ONLY from your selected state or territory will be able to see your data in EOI (for this visa). However if, instead of selecting one particular state or territory, you select ANY state or territory, the government officials from all Australian states and territories will be able to see your data in EOI (for this visa).
Business Innovation and Investment visas
On behalf of Australian government - Austrade or Australian state governments identify and select skilled businessmen (or investors, as the case may be) to nominate. If a Australian state government or Austrade, nominates you, you will receive an invitation from SkillSelect to apply for the visa.
In case you are applying under a visa stream requiring pass marks, you have to prove that your point score is equal or above the pass marks, in order to receive an invitation. In (very few) certain cases, the nominating state government can also give you some additional points if it feels that your proposed business can bring extra ordinary eco. benefits to that state or territory.
During the completion process of an EOI for one of these types of visas, you are asked which state or territory you wish to be nominated by OR if you wish to be nominated under investor steam OR if you wish to be nominated by Austrade. You have to choose one of these options. If you select one of these nominators, the official staff from that nominator will be able to see your data in your EOI. If you select all nominators, then the official staff from all Australian states, territories and Austrade will be able to see your data in your EOI.
Remember, it is YOUR responsibility to contact your chosen nominator to discuss the possibility and the process of nominating you and their requirements in this regard, for this visa.
Employer Sponsored Visa Programs
Australian employers can search the SkillSelect database, for the skilled workers who wish to be nominated by an Australian employer. If an employer contacts you through SkillSelect, it is your choice to contact the employer to discuss the employment opportunities. For an employer-sponsored visa, you don’t need to get an invitation from SkillSelect.
During the completion process of an EOI for one of these types of visas, you are asked which Australian state or territory you wish to work in. You can select one or more states or territories. Employers from your selected states or territories will be able to view your credentials in SkillSelect. However, your personal information (like your name, DOB etc.) is not shown to them in the database.
If you are invited or selected
SkillSelect will issue you an invitation if they decide to invite you to apply for the visa. This invitation is valid for 60 days in which you have to apply for the visa. It expires after 60 days. If you apply 60 days after receiving your invitation, your visa application will not be entertained and you will have to wait for a new invitation from SkillSelect. However, after receiving two consecutive invitations, if you are still unable to apply for the visa, your EOI will be removed from SkillSelect.
If you are not invited or selected
In case you don’t receive an invitation from SkillSelect, your EOI will still remain in SkillSelect database for a maximum period of two years. During this period you can always update your details in your EOI, especially to reflect any improvement in your qualification or experience etc. In case your point score improves as a result of improvement in your qualification or experience, your chances for being invited for a visa will also increase accordingly.
On the other hand, if the visa conditions change for the visa you wish to apply for, SkillSelect will notify you accordingly. Moreover, after each invitation round for the independent and skilled regional sponsored visa classes, SkillSelect will publish on its website, the lowest points scoring needed for an EOI to be invited which can give you an indication of your possibilty for receiving an invitation in future rounds for the remaining period of two years of your EOI.