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.
That was yesterday. So what is new today?
My MARA man spent a gruelling three days in conferences to find out about these changes and there is one area that does concern him. Tonight we had a chat about it on Skype.
Expression of Interest or EOI
Here’s the process step-by-step, I’ll explain each stage in a minute:
- Expression of Interest
- Getting picked from the pool
- Pay the Visa Application Charge (VAC)
- Your information is then verified
- Fast track to Australia
So, what happens at each stage? It’s all very new, and in places there is still uncertainty, but this is how we think it will work.
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 who require your skills, or any employer, or even DIBP themselves. 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.
Once you move into the Skills Select program you have 60 days in which to apply after being selected. The great thing about this process is it is fast! In fact, if everything goes smoothly, you will be offered a bridging visa. This means you can fly out and start working in Australia almost immediately whilst all the loose ends are tied up.
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.
DON’T DO IT!!
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…
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?
- You are automatically refused when the discrepancy comes to light.
- You will lose your Visa Application Charge fee.
- You will be banned from reapplying for three years.
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.
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,