By invitation only – Australia’s Skill Select Programme explained
The biggest change to Australia’s skilled migration program since the visa points test was first introduced 33 years ago is to be implemented from1 July 2012.
A new invitation-only visa system will become law, removing the rights all eligible candidates forskilled migration currently enjoy. While rightly described by Australian authorities as a policy that matches the “best and brightest migrants to the available places in the migration program,” it is undoubtedly a change that will make it significantly more difficult for many to obtain permanent residency.
The new system, known as the Skilled Migrant Selection Register – or simply ��SkillSelect’ – introduces a new intermediate step into the skilled visa process - the Expression of Interest. While the key features of SkillSelect have been unveiled by the Department of Immigration, further amendments are possible prior to its implementation.
EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
The requirement to lodge an EOI (Expression of Interest) through SkillSelect falls upon all skilled migrants and will only be possible after first receiving a skills assessment, and in most cases, sitting the IELTS English test. Furthermore, an entirely accurate EOI is essential as information provided at this stage will later be verified against the final visa application, with any false or misleading claims made earlier in the EOI easily leading to visa refusal.
EOIs will also need to be thoroughly prepared to ensure candidates claim every point they qualify for. For those submitting EOIs under the independent or family sponsored streams, the electronic SkillSelect Register will automatically issue invitations to those with the highest points score in their occupation group in regular monthly rounds. For those applying through state sponsorship, each state will manually select candidates for nomination from those who have indicated they wish to be considered by that state in their EOI. The number of candidates each state can sponsor will be determined by their specific State Migration Plan.