Lodging an Expression of Interest (EOI)

If you are a skilled person contemplating a new life in Australia, you will experience a far more complex visa programme and will face greater challenges throughout your visa journey. Nowadays, there is far more to consider, and much can change as you weave your way through the migration maze. The first thing to understand is that you cannot apply for a General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa until you have been invited by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). To do this you must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) but, Concept Australia recommends you should only do this once you have explored your visa options and are satisfied that you can generate the required number of points to receive an invitation. It is therefore important that you seek professional advice and guidance at the very beginning of your visa journey as this will enable you to make an informed decision about your future in Australia.

What is SkillSelect and an Expression of Interest (EOI)?

SkillSelect is the Australian Government’s online system for anyone interested in applying for a GSM visa to live and work in Australia. Although your EOI is valid for 24 months and you can update it during that time, you cannot change it once you have received an invitation. It is therefore very important that you aim to get it right first time as once you are invited, you will only have 60 days to submit your application. If you don’t have the right information and required documents to hand to support the claims you made on your EOI, your Australia visa application can be rejected. It is therefore vital that you ensure you are fully prepared before you submit your EOI in order to give yourself every chance of success.

When should I apply for a skills assessment?

Concept Australia recommends that you only apply for a skills assessment once your visa options have been fully assessed, the appropriate visa pathway selected, and your potential points score correctly calculated. Skills assessing authorities have limited knowledge of the skilled visa process as their responsibility is to determine whether your qualifications and skills are comparable to someone working in your nominated occupation in Australia. They have no interest in whether you will achieve sufficient points to receive an invitation from the DHA.

Is my nominated occupation on the Medium Long Term Skilled Shortage list (MLTSSL), the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) or the Regional Occupations List (ROL)?

If your nominated occupation features on the MLTSSL you can lodge an application under visa sub-classes 189 (Skilled Independent), 190 (Skilled Nominated with the support of a state or territory government) or subclass 489 (Skilled Regional (Provisional) with either nomination by a state or territory government or sponsorship from a close relative settled in a designated area of Australia). If, however, your occupation only features on the STSOL or ROL you must be nominated by a state or territory government or by an employer. You will not be able to apply under subclass 189 and you cannot be sponsored by a close relative.

How can I generate the required number of points to receive an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs?

In the UK, most applicants will generate points for their age, English (via a test), qualifications, work experience, nomination by a state/territory government or sponsorship from a close relative residing in a designated area of Australia. Points can also be awarded for a Professional year, Australian study, Credentialed community language, studying and living in regional Australia and partner skills. Currently, only Skilled Independent applicants (subclass 189) with a points score of 70 are being invited to apply (even though the EOI entry mark is 65 points). Being nominated by a state or territory government has the benefit of being awarded 5 extra points for subclass 190 (Skilled Nominated) and 10 points for subclass 489 (Skilled Regional).

What are the chances of being nominated by a state or territory government?

Each state and territory has different selection criteria and publishes a list of occupations in demand which can change at any time. Nomination approval will generally be determined by factors such as your overall commitment to the nominating state or territory, the number of years work experience, specialised skills, employability, English language skills, relatives already residing in the state or territory and the financial capacity to settle in the state or territory. It is therefore important that you undertake research into specific nomination criteria applied by your preferred state or territory. 

Am I prepared to live in regional Australia?

The DHA is actively encouraging people to settle in regional or low population growth areas of Australia. You will be awarded an additional 10 points if you are granted a Skilled Regional visa (subclass 489) which can make a difference in meeting your points target. Remember also that if you choose to reside in South Australia, Tasmania or the Northern Territory you can live in the capital cites of Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin. A pathway to permanent residence (subclass 887) is available providing you have resided in the regional or designated area of Australia for a period of 2 years and worked full-time for 1 year.

Will I need to sit an English language test and what level will I need to achieve?

Generating points for English via an English language test can pose the biggest obstacle for people applying for a General Skilled Migration visa for Australia. Although applicants who hold a passport from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or Republic of Ireland are considered to have a level of Vocational English they will not be awarded any points for this level of English which, will make it very difficult to achieve the required number of points to receive an invitation. To be awarded points for English you will need to sit an English language test to claim 10 points for Proficient English and 20 points for Superior English.

Have I correctly calculated the number of points I can claim in my EOI?

By submitting an EOI you are providing critical information about your age, education and qualifications, skills assessment, employment history and English language skills which will attribute points and enable the DHA to consider inviting you to apply for a skilled visa for Australia. This information needs to be accurate as it cannot be changed after an invitation to apply is received. If you have miscalculated your points and for example, claimed points for work experience that cannot be verified, your application may be refused.

Will I automatically receive a visa application invitation if I have 65 points?

The simple answer is no. Invitation rounds for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) and Skilled Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489) visas are usually run on the 11th day of each month. Invitation places in each round may vary depending on the number of applications being processed by the DHA with the highest ranked applicants by points score being invited to apply for the relevant visa. For applicants who have equal points scores, the time at which they reached their points score for that subclass (referred to as the date of effect) determines their order of invitation. Currently only applicants who have achieved a points score of 70 are being invited to apply. Please note that selective occupations such as Accountants and some ICT and Engineering professionals require a higher points score. Applicants being nominated by a state or territory government (visa sub-classes 190 and 489) are not subject to invitation rounds. Some states have, however, raised the number of points required by them in their quest to select the best and brightest applicants.  

Seeking professional advice with a MARA registered migration agent can help you with your skilled visa application

To be granted a skilled migration visa for Australia, you must meet all of the legislative requirements for the visa class selected. If you are confused and overloaded with information which you have found difficult to interpret, we can help you. Concept Australia can quickly give you a realistic assessment of your chances of success and guide you through the whole process to make sure you tick all the necessary boxes. We can also help you maximise the number of points that you can claim to help you get that important invitation to apply for a Skilled Migration Visa for Australia.

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SkillSelect – Invitation rounds

SkillSelect first allocates available places to Skilled – Independent (subclass 189) visas and then remaining to Skilled – Regional...


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