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Australian Government publishes provisional details on July 1st visa changes

The Australian Government has published provisional guidelines on its new visa processing system, to go live from July 1st 2012. From July, all applicants will be invited to make an online submission via the Government’s SkillSelect online system.

SkillSelect is an online service that enables skilled workers interested in migrating to Australia to record their details to be considered for a skilled visa through an Expression of Interest (EOI). Intending migrants could be found and nominated for skilled visas by Australian employers or state and territory governments, or they could be invited by the Australian Government to lodge a visa application.

The following information is a guide only and is subject to the legislative process. More information will be available closer to 1 July 2012.

SkillSelect is a major change to how Australia manages its skilled migration program.

According to the Australian Government, SkillSelect will ensure the skilled migration program is based on the economic needs of Australia. The Australian Government will be able to manage who is able to apply for skilled migration, when they are able to apply and in what numbers, on the basis of this need.

As a result, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship expects to significantly reduce the time taken to process a visa application.

The Government also states that SkillSelect will help address regional skill shortages. SkillSelect allows intending migrants to indicate they are willing to live and work in regional Australia. This will be of particular benefit to employers experiencing regional skill shortages and state and territory governments attempting to settle migrants in regional Australia.

How SkillSelect works

SkillSelect is an online service that enables skilled workers and business people interested in migrating to Australia to record their details to be considered for a skilled visa through an Expression of Interest (EOI). People can be found and nominated for skilled visas by Australian employers or state and territory governments, or they may be invited by the Australian Government to lodge a visa application.

SkillSelect will be implemented on 1 July 2012. All intending migrants interested in the independent skilled, family sponsored skilled, state or territory sponsored skilled, or business skills visa programs will be required to submit an EOI and receive an invitation in order to lodge a visa application.

Visa programs in SkillSelect

From 1 July 2012, if you are interested in the following visas, you will need to submit an EOI and receive an invitation before you can apply for a visa:

•Subclass 189 Skilled – Independent (Permanent) (Class SI)
•Subclass 190 Skilled – Sponsored (Permanent) (Class SK)
•Subclass 489 – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) (Class SP)
•Business Skills visa program.

You can also express interest in the following visa programs on your EOI to be selected by an employer.

•Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (Class EN)
•Subclass 186 – Regional Sponsored Scheme (RSMS) (Class RN)
•Subclass 457 – Temporary Business (Long Stay) (Class UC)

You can express interest in a range of skilled migration programs in one EOI.

What is an EOI

An EOI is an indication that you would like to be considered for a skilled visa. It is not the same as a visa application.

While you don’t need to submit documents supporting your claims when you submit your EOI, you must have a range of information prepared.

Be aware: You must have documents supporting the claims you make in your EOI ready to go. An invitation to make a visa application may be issued very quickly after you submit your EOI and you will only have 60 days to lodge a completed visa application.

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.

 

Please note: All visas lodged prior to July 1st will continue to be processed according to current visa arrangements.

For more information on the new Visa Processing System, please visit the Australian Government’s SkillSelect website.

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