Expression of Interest (EOI) – Persons interested in applying for skilled visas must first submit an online EOI. This will include their personal details as well as their skills, experience, qualifications and so on.
Points test – EOI's will be 'points tested'. Applicants will receive points according to their skills, experience, age, English proficiency and so on.
Skilled Occupations List (SOL) – a list of occupations in demand. Skilled visa applicants must select an occupation from the SOL. There are different lists depending on which visa you are applying for. Some examples of occupations for a graduate skilled visa would include Accountant, Secondary school teacher or Registered Nurse.
Skills Assessment – Some visas require a skills assessment. This involves applying to an 'appointed body', for example an engineer would need a skills assessment from Engineers Australia. This appointed body requires a bachelors degree in the related field and in some instances relevant work experience. A Chef on the other hand would be required to undertake a specialized 6 month practical and formal program. The purpose of a skills assessment is to ensure skilled migrants are qualified to work in Australia.
State & Territory – In Australia there are 6 states: New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia, and 2 Territories: Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory.
SkillSelect is the new skilled visa system. This replaced the old 'General Skilled Migration' system from 1st July 2012. There are 2 main changes,
- Many visas were abolished and replaced by new ones, and
- Intending applicant must first submit an 'Expressions of Interest' (EOI's).
Under the new system, prospective applicants must first submit an online ‘expression of interest’ (EOI). This includes personal details, qualifications, relevant work experience, english proficiency etc. An EOI is not a visa application so no fee applies. However any costs for skills assessments and English tests are non-refundable. Costs for skills assessments vary depending on the profession. IELTS (English) tests cost around $330.
Points are given for different factors. Applicants are then ranked by their total score. Those with higher ranking scores will be invited to apply for a visa. The advantage with this system is once an invitee applies, processing is much quicker. There is also a higher success rate as invitees have already met many requirements (subject to further assessment).
There are various types of skilled visas. The more common include:
- Skilled Independent,
- State of Territory Nominated,
- Employer Nominated Scheme, and
- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
1. SKILLED INDEPENDENT
This visa is for skilled workers who are not nominated by a state/territory, employer or an Australian relative. This is a permanent visa which allows holders to live and work anywhere in Australia. Being a permanent visa, holders have access to many benefits including: studying in Australia, Medicare, social security payments and Australian Citizenship.
2. STATE OR TERRITORY NOMINATED
This visa is for people who have been nominated (or invited) by a state or territory government. Each state/territory has different employment demands. For example in Western Australia there is high demand for engineers because of the mining boom.
This is a permanent visa which allows holders to have access to many benefits including: working, studying in Australia, Medicare, social security payments and Australian Citizenship. However the visa holders may be required to follow State/Territory's obligations such as:
- Stay and work in the nominating state for at least two years,
- Inform the state of any changes to address, and
- Complete surveys and provide information when asked.
3. EMPLOYER NOMINATION SCHEME (ENS)
Australian businesses may nominate overseas residents to work in Australia. Some advantages in hiring overseas workers include,
- Less training involved,
- Competent in multiple languages,
- Access to labor market outisde Australia.
For ENS the employer must meet certain requirements including:
- Training requirements: Businesses must invest enough money into training employees,
- Salary requirements. Employers cannot pay less wages & salaries than other Australians working in same occupations,
- Provide adequate working conditions.
These requirements are aimed at protecting skilled migrants.
Businesses who are interested in employing skilled migrants have access to EOI's. Like States or Territories, they are interested in high scoring EOI's.
4. REGIONAL SPONSORED MIGRATION SCHEME (RSMS)
RSMS is similar to ENS in that Australian Businesses nominate skilled migrants. The main difference is that the business must be in a regional area. These are low population growth areas and are mostly in the country side.
It is usually more difficult for regional businesses to locally find skilled employees. Therefore it is generally easier to obtain regional sponsorship.
As Migration Agents, we can assist in:
- Assessing your potential score,
- Maximising your score where possible,
- Lodging the EOI,
- If invited, preparing and submitting the visa application, and
- Assessing other visa options, for example - family or student visas.