Australian Visas and Expression Of Interest (EOI): Caution!

On 1 July 2012 Expression of Interest or EOI came into play and the very next day, on 2 July 2012 I wrote this post about it. This post is still relevant today and from time to time I do update the information where necessary. The last update took place 4 July 2014.

Every year the Department of Immigration & Border Control (DIBP) reviews and revises the visa application process. They look at the jobs on the skills list, how the points are allocated and the whole process of making the visa application.

Then they tweak it all and come up with some new rules and procedures and announce them, usually, on July 1.

Expression of Interest or EOI

Here’s the process step-by-step, I’ll explain each stage in a minute:

Skills Select

  • Expression of Interest
  • Getting picked from the pool

Expression of Interest

Skilled applicants will be able to go online and enter their own EOI. The information they will be required to input will be quite thorough, equivalent to the six pages worth of information required to complete a Visa Assessment here on BobinOz.

Getting picked from the pool

Technically, you could get picked out of the pool by any one of Australia’s states or territories who require your skills, or any employer, or even DIBP themselves. You will get an invitation if you are nominated by the states or territories or if your occupation is on the SOL and you meet the qualification criteria you will receive an invitation directly from SkillSelect. You can still find your own sponsor and it is probably advisable to continue looking for one as nobody is really sure just how many states or employers will be scanning this system for people.

Once you are selected or have found your own sponsor, you move to the next stage.

Visa Application:

  • Pay the Visa Application Charge (VAC)
  • Your information is then verified
  • Fast track to Australia

So, what happens at each stage? It’s all still a bit daunting, and in places there is still uncertainty, but this is how we think it works.

Once you have been invited – by either Skillselect for an independent visa or invited on the basis of a state or territory nomination, you move to the next stage.

You have 60 days in which to apply after being selected. The great thing about this process is it is fast!

Pay Visa Application Charge (VAC)

Of course, your visa application will have a fee involved, payable to the Australian Government. You will be required to pay this fee with your application.

Your information is then verified

Remember that EOI you completed online a while back? I hope you didn’t tell any little white lies on it. I remember going for a job interview when I was about 18 years of age. Of course, I had a CV prepared. I never much liked the section called “Hobbies and Interests”, at the time mine were going to the pub, getting drunk and partying.

That’s not what a prospective employer wants to see, is it?

So I put sport and photography.

The interview went well, but right at the end, the interviewer said “So, what camera do you use?”

I looked at him in utter bewilderment; I’d forgotten my own hobbies. He reminded me of what I’d put on my CV and asked again what camera I used.

“It’s just a normal camera.” I said weakly.

Yes, many of us can tell little white lies to get that job on occasions.


Not on an EOI. I will explain why under the pitfalls below.

Fast track to Australia

Yay! If all goes well, you will be in Australia in no time. But what about…

The pitfalls!


When you complete your EOI online, there are no checkpoints in it. If you want to put yourself down as a brain surgeon with 15 years experience, you can. You can create a profile with 100 points if you want.

The system will accept it and place you in a queue.

Obviously, nobody in their right mind would do that, but maybe you’d be tempted to say you have four years experience when you have just over three? Or to say you have a qualification when you are still waiting for the result of that exam?

No, you wouldn’t do that, would you?

How about this then? There is a tick box somewhere along the line asking if you have had your skill assessed by the relevant authority. Maybe you are in the process of doing that, maybe you are thinking of doing it, maybe you tick yes.

Maybe you enter any kind of information into this document that isn’t quite correct. What happens?

If you enter incorrect information:

  • You are automatically refused when the discrepancy comes to light.
  • You will lose your Visa Application Charge fee.
  • You could possibly be banned from reapplying for three years.

The Australian government have a great migration blog to help you, I suggest that in particular you read their post called Busting the myths about SkillSelect for more information.

The EOI that you complete online is a legal document, please complete it with 100% accuracy, or you could be very sorry indeed.

As I have said already, you can enter the information for your EOI yourself. At this stage, it appears that non-MARA registered migration agents can also charge you a fee to help you with this process.

“Yah, I’m an expert EOI form filler, here’s my card :-). I can fill it in properly for you for just $300!”


If you do not want to fill in this form yourself, and you do want help, I strongly suggest that you use only a professional MARA registered migration agent or a qualified lawyer. It’s a legal document and great care has to be taken when completing it.

There are other pitfalls as well.

Let’s suppose there are 40,000 skilled jobs required in Australia for 2012 to 2013. Let’s say, for example, that 500 of those jobs are for accountants.

When those 500 accountants have been accepted through the whole process, no more accountants will be needed. But that information is not made public anywhere, accountants can still enter their EOI.

Some good news

It’s not all bad news, here are some little snippets of good news.

  • The points target has now been reduced to 60.
  • Students studying here who successfully gain a bachelor’s or Masters degree Ph.D. will automatically qualify for an 18 month working visa on completion.
  • Students will also qualify for an additional five points for studying here for a minimum of two years.
  • The new system is geared more towards a faster acceptance of those looking to get a 457 visa.

The downside

It will now be slightly harder for those who are hoping to come here directly on a Permanent Residency visa as preference will be given to those with sponsorships.

There is more, much more. But I think that’s enough for now.

Visit: SkillSelect for more details and to submit your EOI.

Comments: Please read…

Since this post went live on July 2, 2012 it has attracted a huge amount of interest and, at the time of writing this, 370 odd comments.

It is obvious that this process, Expression of Interest, is hugely confusing and many of you are having problems with it. Almost all of the comments below are questions about this process.

I would need to be a MARA registered migration agent to know the answers to these questions and I’m not. The above article was written after I had spoken at length to a professional MARA agent, for any of you who have read the article, you probably now know as much about EOI as I do.

I am keeping comments open on this post, but I will not be able to answer any questions. Hopefully somebody else who does know might pop by with an answer, but I would also suggest that you do have a quick look at all the comments that have already been made as your question may have already been covered.

Good luck to you all,


PS. The notices below, in a way, repeat what I’ve just said above but they also fully clarify my situation when it comes to comments.

Important: Please read before commenting…

And for those looking for professional assistance…

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{ 1809 comments… add one }
  • Ashish March 23, 2017, 4:55 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, I am training and development professional and applied for 190 PR EOI on 4 Jan 2017 and State Sponsorship to NT on 11 March 2017. I am having 70 points. Please suggest as hiw much time NT migration team takes to accept my state sponsorship and invite me to apply for VISA.

    • Kanishka March 26, 2017, 1:11 am | Link

      I am also same like you applied before one year but still no response

      • Ashish March 26, 2017, 12:42 pm | Link

        Tell me more about your PR application

  • W March 22, 2017, 8:30 pm | Link

    I’m hesitating toward my experience level (years to be counted).

    My work history for past years are:

    – External Auditor Feb 2009 to May 2012: 3 years 4 months
    – Finance & Accounting Manager (many common tasks of financial and managerial accountant) May 2012 to Feb 2015: 2 years 10 months
    – Internal Control Manager (very similar to internal auditor) Feb 2015 to present: 2 years 2 months

    Therefore, I have more than 8 years of experience.

    I want to apply nominating my External Auditor in the application or what? Do I count only the 3 years 4 months or do I count the full 8 years experience?

    I’m really hesitating toward this point and wondering how do I calculate my total years of experience of my selected occupation.

    Thanks a lot for your help

  • Sonu March 10, 2017, 4:32 am | Link

    Plz tell how much time it takes for a state sponsered in EOI

  • chint March 6, 2017, 3:15 am | Link

    Hello, I am going to submit EOI with 60 points for 189 and 190 visa, i am hoping to get state nomination which shall help my application leap to 65 points.

    Please can you let me know if i don’t receive state nomination then my application will follow the normal route of 190 visa and will be in a queue, this is essential to know as i am going to complete 8 years work exp after the skill assessment met date, so this will give me 5 more points.

    so plan is apply for state sponsorship and if i am selected then i can go through 189 and 190 visa process or else my application remains in queue and i need to apply for 190 visa when my circumstance change.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Alison February 25, 2017, 4:51 pm | Link

    Hi guys. I have submitted my eoi which was accepted. But in my confirmation, and skills select account I cannot find the number of points I was awarded. How do I find out?

    • Mark February 27, 2017, 6:57 am | Link

      Hi Alison I am just pitching in as Bob has moved house recently and the phone company here have made a mess of his internet connection… I have to be honest though and say I dont know the answer to your question. however I believe that once you have calculated your points hopefully totalling over 60 it s then looked at and assessed to see if those 60 are valid… I used an agent so never bothered with all this bit… I am hoping unless you have found them some one else will pop in and answer

  • sam February 21, 2017, 10:02 pm | Link

    HI Guysk,
    I am pretty much stress as I got refusal in 186 visa last week . Now I don’t know after going to MRT will it turn positive after 12 months waiting?

    What are the other options. I have completed 3 years with same employer under 457 visa as a project administrator. My ielts are 5 each.

    What are the options for me> Can I go for EOI?
    Currently only nomination got refuse not the visa application.
    please advise.

    • Mark February 22, 2017, 5:47 am | Link

      You need a MARA agent to look at this for you as its stated in the orange boxes above, folk cant just gyve you advice like this. Im not saying MARA agent will solve the problem but they are far better qualified than anyone on here

  • Ranjan February 16, 2017, 11:11 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for all the wonderful comments…. please provide your valuable suggestions in my case…
    While filling EOI it is asking for dates while filling the occupation. In my case my overseas exp as per ACS after may 2012 is equivalent so
    05/10 to 08/13 –that is 3.3 years
    11/13 to 09/15 — 1.10 years.
    In the above details as per my calculation it is equal to 3 years. But in eoi when I give my dates after may 2012 that is
    01/06/2012 to 06/08/2013
    22/11/2013 to 13/09/2015

    It does not give the 5 points on overseas experience. But if I include month of may it does accepts….please advice.

  • Kiran m February 12, 2017, 12:27 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I submitted Doing on September 22 2016 for 261311 code with 60 + 5 SS For NSW Visa 190, till now I didn’t get any invite. Maximum how many weeks it can take for invitations? Could you plz let me know

  • HariPrasaadh Kumar February 2, 2017, 12:36 pm | Link

    Hi Bob
    I am applying for 190 Visa under skill set 225112 VETASSESS- Market Research Analyst from India.
    Is the 225112 still active or its closed by all states. If I need to apply under it should I wait till July 2017 for the list to get revised. I already submitted my application to VETASSESS for verification..

  • victor olu January 23, 2017, 3:30 pm | Link

    I have received an invitation to apply for a 190 visa. On my expression of interest form , I stated that i was engaged. On my request for state nomination form, there was no room to state that and since i didn’t have a spouse , i stated that i wouldn’t be travelling with spouse. I will be getting married in 4 weeks and so my question is this. may i include my spouse on the DIBP application ?

  • victor olu January 21, 2017, 5:34 am | Link

    I nominated an occupation (geophysicist) that has been removed from Victoria’s State occupation list with effect from December 31. However, I put in my request for state nomination (5 points required from nomination to make minimum points) before December 31. Will my request be considered?
    Also, I received an email from the state of Western Australia asking me to apply for state nomination. However, this occupation (Geophysicist) requires a job offer as a condition for state nomination – which I do not currently have. what do I do?

    Thanks for the advice.


  • Tanzila January 17, 2017, 12:49 pm | Link

    I have 60 points.i arrange one job in visa is expire may 2017.please ,I will go to Tasmania or not?now I live in Melbourne.

  • Varun Sharma January 13, 2017, 7:38 pm | Link

    Hi Sir,

    I’ve 9 years of experience as System Administrator in a college and I take care of all the computer machines and IT network in this college. I guess, I am falling under IT jobs. Can I apply for 189 as ‘System Analyst’ and which body would check my credenitials..ACS or any other body.

    Kindly response.

  • Tanima January 13, 2017, 8:56 am | Link

    I have submitted my eoi April 2016 as accountant with 65 points. I did not get any invitation yet. Recently I have completed professional year and now I have 70 points. Can I update new points to my old eoi or do I need to submit a new eoi? If I updated old eoi from 65 to 70 will it count as 9 months old application? Or it will count as a new application? I have only 2 months visa left.

  • Jay sewell January 13, 2017, 4:59 am | Link

    Hi bob, great blog and some fantastic information. My wife is applying for a 189 (she is a registered mental health nurse) but she only did a diploma and is not finishing tipping this up to a full degree (she finished in April) would we be right in thinking we cannot apply for an EOI through skill select until she has the qualification in her hand?? I believe the criteria hanged a couple of years ago which we read on your blog too. Obviously we don’t want to start the EOI in case we get invited and don’t yet have the paperwork. Sorry this may seem a simple question but it’s quite a lot to understand. Thanks

    • Jay sewell January 13, 2017, 5:01 am | Link

      Apologies for the typo’s
      She is topping up her degree and finishes in April 2017
      And the criteria changed a couple of wars back I believe

      • BobinOz January 13, 2017, 4:33 pm | Link

        Ha ha, I love the typo corrections followed by ‘the criteria changed a couple of wars back…’; made me laugh out loud 🙂

        Anyway, I’m afraid I can’t help you with your question even if it does seem simple, I’m just not allowed to do so. Please read my important messages at the foot of the above article. Good luck though, Bob

        • Jay sewell January 14, 2017, 12:06 am | Link

          Ah ok thanks anyway for your speedy response.

          • venky February 19, 2017, 3:16 am | Link

            Has she got registration with AHPRA as Registered Nurse? If not, that is the first step in the process. once registered, she has to get her skill assessed under Mental Health Nurse code with ANMAC.. Then only she can fill EOI.
            If she is already a RN in UK, Newzealand, Canada, Ireland or USA (Qualification also must be gained form there). She can apply directly for ANMAC and then EOI.
            I hope this helps

            • Jay sewell February 19, 2017, 3:26 am | Link

              Hi, thanks very much, my wife is looking at this but we weren’t sure what point in the process. This is useful info thanks for your reply.

  • Varun Sharma January 13, 2017, 12:21 am | Link

    Hi Sir,

    I’ve 9 years of experience as System Administrator in a college and I take care of all the computer machines and IT network in this college. I guess, I am falling under IT jobs. Can I apply for 189 as ‘System Analyst’ and which body would check my credenitials..ACS or any other body.

    Kindly response.

  • Satya January 6, 2017, 11:49 pm | Link

    Hi Sir, I have 9+ year of experience into security and have two years gap after my college. I was searching for jobs in government sector. So for this two years I do not have experience certificate and in the middle of my 9+ years exp I have 8 months gap as I was doing courses and certifications. Can i try for PR or not please suggest.

  • mandeep singh sra January 6, 2017, 1:15 am | Link

    Hi Bob

    I applied EOI in October for the ANZSCO CODE 242111 (university lecturer) (Special condition applied ) (high point criteria) for South Australia for visa subclass 489 with points 80 including state sponsorship points and got invitation in November 15 ,2016 . And now a case officer has asked me to submit documents till 18 Jan 2017.
    But now I also quality for 190 visa with 80 points including state sponsorship points for SA with my partner’s skill points (5 points)

    Now can I update my EOI for 190
    And is there any chances of getting invitation for 190 parallel to processing of 489

    Thank you for your valuable time

    • mark January 6, 2017, 9:37 am | Link

      Try and speak to your case officer but generally the less confusing you make it the better I would imagine E.g to introduce another element will add to confusion…

  • Sanmoh January 3, 2017, 3:23 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I have submitted my EOI last year, till now haven’t received any invitation. I have included my partner’s skill also in my EOI to gain more points.
    Now my question is can my husband go ahead and submit a new EOI for him?
    he is already in my EOI, is that ok?

    • Russel January 4, 2017, 6:21 am | Link

      If it is more than 6 months, it generally means that you are not having enough points to warrant an invitation.
      If your partner has more experience and is getting a higher point score, I would recommend him/her being the main applicant.

      • sanmoh February 8, 2017, 9:23 pm | Link

        Thank you for your reply.

        We have started the process for my husband.
        He got a positive skill assessment but what happened is he was assessed for less years (2.8) out of his 10 years experience, can we log EOI for this 10 years of experience or what to do. kindly help!

  • Neelam December 28, 2016, 8:08 pm | Link

    Hi, Bob, i read all your suggestions and discussions, they are really valuable. i have applied for EOI on 2 October 2016. I have 65 points for 189 visas and also applied for 190 and 489. Ccould you please give me any idea how long does it takes to get an invitation.

    • Russel January 4, 2017, 6:14 am | Link

      Invitations are given every 2 weeks

  • Vindu December 27, 2016, 11:56 pm | Link

    Thanks Bob & Gang… i finally got my PR granted on 2.11.16! ♡♡ good luck everyone!

    • BobinOz December 29, 2016, 9:37 pm | Link

      Congrats Vindu, I do hope it all goes well. Cheers, Bob

      • Vindu December 30, 2016, 1:38 am | Link


  • Ahmed December 12, 2016, 7:31 pm | Link

    I am a 33 years old Chartered Accountant, Qualified ACCA, with 10 years of relevant experience in industry and 4 years of training at one of the Big4 firms. I got 8+ score in all categories of IELTS academic, except writing (7.5 unfortunately). I haven’t applied for assessment of my education and work experience so far. As per my own calculations, I have 65 points only, which are not good enough to apply for the General accountant category. They say, you need to have 70 points in order to get an invitation. Now my question is, should I just submit my documents to CPA for assessment and retake IELTS or PTE to improve my score? or I try to find a sponsor in Australia and receive 5 more points? A friend of mine owns a real estate business in Australia and is willing to sponsor me, but I don’t know what kind of a business can be your legal sponsor. Any business or it has to be owned by the state or something? kindly help me choose the best option before they remove this category from SOL.
    thanking in anticipation.

    • Trang December 27, 2016, 4:13 pm | Link

      I had troubles with IELTS just like you and my advice is do take the PTE. It’s a super duper easy exam, which only requires practice and some tips to ace. I was at 7.5 writing for IELTS and that was ages ago, and I still got perfect score for PTE (all band) so believe me you can do it.

      • BobinOz December 29, 2016, 1:14 am | Link

        Yes, quite a few people are a fan of PTE. If you check out some of the comments on my page about How to Pass IELTS you will see what they have to say about it. If anyone is struggling with IELTS, PTE is certainly worth giving a try.

  • Erin December 9, 2016, 3:23 am | Link

    Hi Bob!
    LOVE your site! My husband and I are looking to move to Brisbane from the US. He is looking into job positions and we are hoping to come with a company sponsorship. In this case, do you know if he would he still need to fill out the EOI? Thanks! Again, thanks for all this great info in one place. It’s quite an undertaking to do all the research and figure this all out on our own, so I’m so glad I found your site (even more daunting, I think when considering our kids. We have 3!)


    • BobinOz December 9, 2016, 8:26 pm | Link

      I’m afraid that’s one of those questions I can’t answer for you Erin, please check out the special notices above. Glad to hear you love my website though 🙂 cheers, Bob

      • Erin December 17, 2016, 5:06 am | Link

        Thanks for getting back to me so quickly! I will look into contacting a MARA to get some guidance!

  • namtran November 7, 2016, 11:10 pm | Link

    Hi bob!!
    I completed PhD in Mel and I have applied to get invitation for 2 werks areadly but have not got EOI. I I check oonline they said PhD process in within 2 weeks so should I contact to ask them or not.

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