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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{ 1556 comments… add one }
  • Sam May 31, 2016, 4:26 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    Last Month i got employer sponsored 457 Visa and unintentionally i left
    “Other names you are, or have been, known by ” as blank as in reality I haven’t been known by other names.

    Now few days back i got the invite for 189 and I am going to lodge my application, fill form 80 and form 1221.
    All have this field.
    “Other names you are, or have been, known by “.

    I saw my birth certificate and it has wrong other name not there on any document other than Birth Certificate. This certificate can’t be corrected.

    So if i mention this other Name on Birth Certificate in this field “Other names you are, or have been, known by” when applying these forms for 189.
    Can it create issues because i didn’t write it for 457.
    If Yes, What is the way to go ?

    I want to correct this mistake so that they don’t create problem later when applying for Australian Citizenship as there i think we require Birth Certificate.

  • Amit Kapoor May 30, 2016, 5:06 pm | Link

    Hi Recently,

    I lodged an EOI on 4th May for victoria and today to my shock it has been automatically suspended and when checked the correspondence it does not show any suspended status as seen in the downloaded PDF . Is it the website issue or some other thing.

  • MS03 May 30, 2016, 1:27 pm | Link

    I have 7 years of work experience in my job but VETASSESS has considered only 3.5 years. However, in my EOI I have mentioned my full experience.

    I am worried that the concerned authority should not consider it as false information. I have all the proper experience certificates.

    Please share your experience in this regard.


  • Marilyn May 27, 2016, 2:34 pm | Link

    Hi bobi not sure if this is a forum for only discissing EOI, my husbands 457 visa is being processed. It has always been a dream if ours to move to Australia the only downfall is that we were told by an immigration agent even if we are in Australia on a 457 visa we will never be able to get residency as my husband turned 50 a month ago. Does this mean the end of our Australian dream if the 4 years are up. Thanks and hope you will be able to give advise on what to do unfortunately my skills are not on demand list.

    • BobinOz May 27, 2016, 11:41 pm | Link

      Migration agents, particularly MARA registered migration agents, are professionals who know and understand the rules. I am certainly not going to disagree with what your immigration agent has told you, he is qualified in these matters, I am not.

  • MishCa May 27, 2016, 3:41 am | Link

    Good day! Is it normal to wait for an EOI invite for months? My husband and I have positive assessment but his the main applicant (civil engineer). We have 65 points but we’ve been waiting for almost 4 months. It’s very frustrating because ours is processed via a licensed MARA agent thus we don’t have any visibility. All we can do is wait. I panic when I read blogs/forums because it looks like everyone is invited in just a span of 2 to 4 weeks. According to our agent. The 2015-16 is almost over which makes things slower. We might have a chance beginning of July. Is their a truth to it? Its really nerve wracking to just sit and wait. I feel helpless.. I panic 😢😭😭😭

    • BobinOz May 27, 2016, 11:34 pm | Link

      My understanding is that some people never get an invite, there are no guarantees with this system. Hopefully something will turn up you soon though. Good luck, Bob

      • MishCa May 28, 2016, 12:43 am | Link

        Hi Bob! I truly appreciate your quick reply and thanks for the wishes and clarification. Cheers!

  • Saleha May 18, 2016, 6:23 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I was wondering if you would have info in arranging for an apartment for rent. I have looked on the internet most require for an inspection before confirming. Is inspection necessary? Since I am so far away and needed to arrange my accomodation before I arrive is there any possibility if I do pay the bond/rent and reserve the apartment without an inspection?

    • BobinOz May 18, 2016, 11:57 pm | Link

      I’m afraid a lot of rental agencies insist that you personally inspect the premises before you sign the lease, otherwise they fear that you may be able to get out of that lease by claiming the place was misrepresented if you don’t think it looks like how they described it.

      My advice would be to try and get some temporary accommodation for when you arrive and then set about getting somewhere more permanent as soon as you get here. Airbnb has recently taken off here in Australia, it may be worth going in that direction for the short term. The only alternative is to try and find a relocation agent to act on your behalf. Good luck, Bob

      • Saleha May 19, 2016, 11:39 am | Link

        Thanks a lot Bob!

  • Uche May 17, 2016, 6:01 pm | Link

    Hi, pls kindly post my comment. It’s my first time here.
    I intend to migrate to Oz and I intend to nominate occupational Health and Safety adviser as my occupation. I have a Masters degree in this field and the NEBOSH qualification which I understand is the UK equivalent for the Australia Certificate IV Workplace Health and Safety trade certificate.

    I saw that an applicant gets 10points for Australia diploma or trade qualification and another 10points for other recognised trade qualifications.

    My question is can I receive this 10points if I take online course for Certificate IV Workplace Health and Safety since I am not in Oz?

  • Uche May 17, 2016, 5:56 pm | Link

    I intend to migrate to Oz and I intend to nominate occupational Health and Safety adviser as my occupation. I have a Masters degree in this field and the NEBOSH qualification which I understand is the UK equivalent for the Australia Certificate IV Workplace Health and Safety trade certificate.

    I saw that an applicant gets 10points for Australia diploma or trade qualification and another 10points for other recognised trade qualifications.

    My question is can I receive this 10points if I take online course for Certificate IV Workplace Health and Safety since I am not in Oz?

  • Hamid Mahmood May 17, 2016, 4:00 pm | Link

    I have received invite from WA on my EOI submitted for subclass 489 visa, and 2 days are left to apply for state nomination. Unfortunately, my occupation is on Schedule 2 in WASMOL and it requires an employment contract in order to complete the application. In addition, I couldn’t find any job advertisement relevant to my occupation, but there are some close related job openings. kindly suggest whether I should submit application for state nomination despite above mentioned short comings as it requires a fee of AUD. 200.

  • Saleha May 17, 2016, 2:45 pm | Link

    I have finally received Permanent residence through skilled nomination from NSW. It took 2 months for a decision to be made from the time of the VAC.
    I would like to thank Bob for creating this forum, very informative comments. I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to Piyush Singh. You have been a major help while sacrificing your time to answer the questions. Wish you all the best in your career.
    Kind Regards

    • Varun May 17, 2016, 4:23 pm | Link


      Could you please let me know how long it took for you to receive EOI submission email after you uploaded necessary documents for NSW state nomination.


      • BobinOz May 17, 2016, 8:11 pm | Link

        Congratulations Saleha, hope you get to love this country as much as I do. I’m pleased to hear my website has helped you, and like yourself, I would also like to thank Piyush Singh for all the help he has given my readers on this page, I know he has given a lot of people some assistance along the way.

        Good luck, Bob

      • Saleha May 18, 2016, 6:16 am | Link

        Hi Varun,
        Within 2 weeks of submission of EOI I got state nomination from NSW. Once I provided all the necessary documents for nomination I got a response within 2 weeks confirming my nomination.
        As soon as you get a nomination, you will get an invitation to apply for the visa.
        The key to a successful and faster response for your application is to read and understand the instructions provided so that mistakes are not made, pay VAC and have your documents ready to upload.

  • Ceon April 27, 2016, 1:29 pm | Link

    Hi I have just submitted an expression of interest today if I wanted to apply for a student visa to Australia will the EOI affect my chances of getting that student visa?

  • Ramandeep Kour April 11, 2016, 6:17 pm | Link


    I have total 8 years of experience, ACS deducted my 2 years of exp but i have shown total exp in my EOI as my whole exp is relevant to my job.

    Can you please tell that is it wrong to include full exp?


    • MS03 May 30, 2016, 1:23 pm | Link

      Hi Raman,

      Did you get any claritype about your problem? I too have 7 years of experience but VETASSESS considered only 3.5 years. However, in my EOI I have mentioned my full experience.

      I am worried that the concerned authority should not consider it as false information. I have all the proper experience certificates.

      Please share your experience in this regard.


  • Mayank April 11, 2016, 3:40 pm | Link

    My friend got 189 invite which will going to expire this weekend. He is having all documents but his spouse and kid passports are under process and it will take atleast one month to get it.
    Is it possible if he will apply for visa either showing both dependent under non migrating category or he may applied as single and later when case officer asked for it -he may provide the passport of dependants saying that the time he applied for visa the dependent passports was under process and to save the invitation he applied as single because there is no option available in site instead of selecting single.

  • Hamid Mahmood April 8, 2016, 7:27 pm | Link

    I have got a positive outcome letter from my assessing authority i.e TRA (Trade recognition Australia). Furthermore, I have scored band 6.5 in IELTS but still short of 5 points from 60 points requirement. Kindly suggest me if I can submit my EOI at this stage in order to acquire an invitation letter?

  • Jagdeep Singh March 25, 2016, 2:52 am | Link

    Hi… I have just got an invite for 489 Visa from Far South Coast, would like to know which all documents would I need now for Final application. Do I also need to show bank balance for 489..

    • Piyush Singh March 25, 2016, 4:54 pm | Link

      You can find the required list of documents on migration website itself.
      For Visa 489 list of documents varies based on the pathway:-
      1) Invited Pathway
      2) Extended Pathway
      3) Family member subsequent entrant

  • Sami Carrington March 24, 2016, 9:44 pm | Link

    My invite expired yesterday and I straight away got another from same EOI. Does that happen? Thanks x

    • Piyush Singh March 25, 2016, 4:56 pm | Link

      It does happen but only with the most eligible applicants.

      • Sami March 25, 2016, 6:00 pm | Link

        Thanks Piyush. I wrote on my EOI the ielts test centre no wrong. I put my candidate no by accident. Does it matter as long as I put the correct one on the visa or should I wait for me invite off a correct EOI? Many thanks 🙂

        • Piyush Singh March 25, 2016, 6:34 pm | Link

          I guess you can’t correct these details now in EOI, but that’s not a major problem. You can fill the correct details in the immi account later while applying against your PR invite, if your Case officer(CO) will raise any concerns in this regard you can tell him/her the actual scenario, usually CO rectify such minor details in the EOI by themselves. No need to worry about this at this stage.

  • Piyush Singh March 24, 2016, 6:33 pm | Link

    You can apply with the same skill assessment before 1st July.

    • Senthil March 24, 2016, 7:12 pm | Link

      Sorry Piyush — I can apply w the same skill assessment before 1st July — pls explain how?

      • Piyush Singh March 24, 2016, 7:15 pm | Link

        Nothing much to explain in this, its simple, you can still apply with the same skill assessment as long as it is not getting expired.
        Not sure what exactly is the issue here which is bothering you, Can you explain the scenario on this?

        • Senthil March 24, 2016, 7:25 pm | Link

          I think the messages got mixed up, Piyush

          Below is my original question:
          Hi there
          My visa (190 nominated) is granted now
          I didn’t choose my family as “migrating immigrants” in my application
          Now I want to apply for my family (wife and 2 kdis)
          Pls advise

          Since my original application is “finalized” — not sure if I can apply for my family using that visa class (190)

          • Piyush Singh March 25, 2016, 5:02 pm | Link

            You can use the below Visa options for your wife and children(applying from outside of Australia):-
            Spouse: Partner (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 309) and Permanent Visa (Subclass 100)
            Children: Child (Permanent) (Subclass 101)

            They both can’t use the visa subclass 190 unless your spouse is not eligible for this visa on her own.

  • Senthil March 24, 2016, 2:16 pm | Link

    Hi there
    My visa (190 nominated) is granted now
    I didn’t choose my family as “migrating immigrants” in my application
    Now I want to apply for my family (wife and 2 kdis)
    Pls advise

    • Piyush Singh March 24, 2016, 6:10 pm | Link

      Hi Senthil,
      If your Visa is granted already, it means you got the PR.
      Now you have to separately process the visa for your family as dependent.

      • Senthil March 24, 2016, 6:17 pm | Link

        Thanks Piyush
        However, the cost is 2.5 times higher 🙁

        • Piyush Singh March 24, 2016, 6:23 pm | Link

          Ideally you should’ve included all the dependents during the PR processing but before getting the PR.

          • Senthil March 24, 2016, 7:09 pm | Link

            Thanks Piyush
            Yes, I opted not to apply for cost and other reasons

  • Juwairia March 24, 2016, 1:24 pm | Link

    I have a question. I have already received state sponsorship and I’m looking to submit an EOI soon, but I can only apply for visa after 31 May (due to scholarship agreements) and my degree assessment from VETASSESS (as valid for 2 years) is going to expire on 1 July. I want to know, if all my documents are valid on and about 7 June and I submit my visa application for sub-class 190, would I still need to renew my VETASSESS assessment after lodging my visa application (as I may lose points now from my employment as getting more than 10 years).

  • RC March 18, 2016, 2:54 pm | Link

    Hi, I’m still working on my career but my main goal is to migrate to Australia someday. As of now I haven’t met much of all the requirements to get enough points for the 189 or 190 visa as well as not having the right budget.

    As far as I know anyone can make an EOI even though they’re still working on the requirements, as of now the only possibility for me is to be sponsored by an employer. If I will make an EOI and would only choose 457 for the time being (will choose 186, 189, or 190 in the future), can I make one without having my skills assessed by TRA yet (annzsco 312312 or 341111) and taking the IELTS and only process or accomplish those once I found a prospective employer to sponsor me? Thank you very much.

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