Thursday, July 5, 2012

Everything you wanted to know about the new changes in Australian Immigration for Skilled Migrants

One of the most significant changes introduced recently by Australian Department of Immigration is the introduction of an additional step in processing of skilled migrants applications called the Expression of Interest (EOI). If you want to migrate to Australia as a skilled migrant and you have the skills Australia needs you may need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI).

This change is applicable from 1 July 2012 if you are interested in following visas:

  • Skilled – Independent (Permanent)
  • Skilled – Nominated (Permanent)
  • Skilled – Regional Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional)
  • Business Talent (Permanent)
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
  • Regional Sponsored Scheme (RSMS)
  • Temporary Business (Long Stay)

The good thing is that you can express interest in a range of skilled migration visas in one EOI.

What is an Expression of Interest (EOI)

An EOI is not a visa application, it is an indication that you would like to be considered for a skilled visa.

You will be asked to provide a range of information in your EOI depending on the visa(s) you want to be considered for, such as:

  • basic personal information
  • nominated occupation
  • work experience
  • study and education
  • level of English skills
  • details of a Skills Assessment, related to your nominated occupation
  • business and investment experience.

Points Test

For the points based skilled migration and business innovation and investment visa programs , you will be ranked according to the appropriate points test. You will be able to submit an EOI even if you do not meet the pass mark; however, you will not be invited to apply for a visa.

It is important to remember that meeting the points test pass mark does not guarantee you an invitation to apply for a visa.

Nominated Occupation

If you are submitting an EOI for a visa that requires you to list a nominated occupation you should establish if your occupation is a skill that Australia needs. You must provide details of a Skills Assessment relating to your nominated occupation in your EOI.
What you need to do before submitting your EOI

While you don’t need to submit documents supporting your claims when you submit your EOI, you must have a range of information prepared.
For example, for an independent skilled visa you must have:

  • completed a skills assessment and/or a job ready program
  • taken an English-language test to prove you meet the English language requirement.

 Submitting an EOI

If you have researched your visa options and prepared the information required, you are ready to submit an EOI.

Your result and points score, along with your time and date of effect becomes your ranking for some visas.  The time and date of effect of your EOI, is the date and time you submitted your EOI or the latest date and time you updated your EOI causing your eligibility or points score to change. Rankings are processed automatically by SkillSelect with no involvement of the department’s staff.

To submit a complete EOI you must meet all the threshold criteria for the relevant visa subclass Once you have completed your EOI, it is stored in SkillSelect and is valid for two years.

If you have not completed your EOI it will be stored for two years, but you will not be eligible to receive an invitation.

Invitation and selection process

Depending on what type of visa(s) you want to be considered for, you may receive an invitation to lodge a visa application, or an Australian employer may contact you to discuss a job opportunity.

Occupation ceilings

An occupation ceiling may be applied to invitations issued under the points based skilled migration program. This means there will be a limit on how many EOIs are selected for skilled migration from an occupation group. This ensures that the skilled migration program is not dominated by a small number of occupations.

When this limit is reached, no further invitations for that particular occupation group will be issued for that program year. Invitations would then be issued to other EOIs who have nominated available occupations even if they are lower ranking. For the state and territory nominated visas, a state or territory will not be able to nominate you if your nominated occupation has reached its occupation ceiling.

Independent and family sponsored visas

Invitations will be issued automatically to people with the highest ranking EOIs, subject to occupation ceilings and to those whose points score exceed the current pass mark.

The points test pass mark is the minimum number of points required to receive an invitation. Not all EOIs that meet the points test pass mark will receive an invitation.

The department’s staff will not choose who will receive an invitation. Invitations will be issued regularly, such as every month.

State and territory nominated visas

State or territory governments can select skilled workers who they want to nominate. State and territory governments may do their own assessment of people before they nominate them. If you are nominated by a state or territory and you have indicated that you meet the points test pass mark, you will then receive an invitation, subject to occupation ceilings.

When you submit an EOI for one of these visas, you will be asked to choose which state or territory you wish to live and work in. You can select one state or territory, or any state or territory. You will also be asked to indicate if you are prepared to live and work in a non-metropolitan area. If you choose only one state or territory then that state or territory government will be able to view your EOI. If you select any state or territory, then all state or territory governments will be able to view your EOI.

Employer sponsored visas

Employers can search for and contact skilled workers that they want to discuss job opportunities with. If you are contacted by an employer, you can choose to respond to them to discuss employment and visa opportunities. You will not receive an invitation to apply for an employer sponsored visa.

When you submit an EOI for one of these visas, you will be asked which state or territory you are interested in living and working. You will also be asked to indicate if you are prepared to live and work in a non-metropolitan area. You will be able to select one or more state or territories, or any state or territory. Employers will be able to view your EOI and will be able to narrow their searches to specifically focus on skilled workers in their area.

If you receive an invitation

If you are invited to apply for a visa, you will receive an invitation. You will then have 60 days to make a valid visa application online, before the invitation expires. Applications received outside this timeframe will be invalid.

The invitation will contain instructions on how you can lodge your visa application.

If you are not invited or selected

More people want to migrate to Australia than there are places available. This means not everyone who submits an EOI will receive an invitation to apply for a visa.

Your EOI will stay in records for two years from the date you submit it. At any time during the validity of your EOI, you may update your details to reflect any additional qualifications or experience you may have obtained. This may increase your likelihood of being invited or an employer contacting you.

You may receive notifications from immigration department notifying you of visa programs changes, that your EOI is expiring, or other information that you may find useful. You will not be notified of the progress of your EOI or be able to obtain updates on the likelihood of receiving an invitation.

After each invitation round for the points based skilled migration visas, the department will publish the lowest scoring points test mark that allowed an EOI to be invited for each occupation group. This will give you an indication of your potential for receiving an invitation in future rounds.

For more information and free assessment of your skills, please send your details at or complete our online assessment form available at

source: Department of Australian Immigration

Amir Ismail is an authorized immigration practitioner associated with the immigration consulting field for the past 21 years. Connect with