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

by BobinOz on July 2, 2012

in Moving To Australia

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…

You may also like:

{ 1362 comments… read them below or add one }

BobinOz November 27, 2015 at 9:11 pm

I would just like to remind the last three commenters that I am not able to answer any questions specifically about visa options, only MARA registered migration agents are able to do that. Good luck to each of you though, Bob


Piyush Singh November 27, 2015 at 7:13 pm

Dear Bob,

I have a small doubt regarding the invitations for Subclass 189 and 190.
Actually, I have submitted my EOI on 25/11/2015 for both Visa Subclass 189 & 190 and got the invite from NSW for state sponsorship on 26/11/2015 which is valid for only 2 weeks up to 10/12/2015.
But I am more inclined towards visa subclass 189 and I want to wait for the next 2 weeks, so I might get the invite for Visa subclass 189 in the mean time.
My doubt is when I already have an invite from NSW for state sponsorship, will it be possible to get visa subclass 189 invitation also at the same time.
I was planning that if I will get the invite for subclass 189 within 2 weeks, then I will go with that otherwise I will apply for the state sponsorship on the last day of validity which is 10/12/2015.
Please suggest me should I wait for the invite of subclass 189 or should move forward with subclass 190 invite from NSW?

Best regards,


Russel November 28, 2015 at 3:01 pm

I have answered a similar question previously


Piyush Singh November 28, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Hi Russel,

Thanks for reminding me again, actually I have gone through your previous posts but I was wondering if I can submit another EOI with selecting only subclass 189 visa option and wait for its invitation, as I really don’t want my existing EOI to be blocked and at the same time I don’t want to cancel the current invitation from NSW(state sponsorship) for the next two weeks.

Please advise me on this.



Russel November 28, 2015 at 4:53 pm

I have answered this as well previously


Piyush Singh November 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Hi Russel,

I have thoroughly read your previous comments but in those comments you have mentioned the process only for the existing EOI, I was asking what if I will submit a new EOI with only subclass 189 visa option.



Russel November 28, 2015 at 8:27 pm

I have been writing here since 2013 and I have answered this question 2-3 times at least.


Piyush Singh November 29, 2015 at 12:28 am

Hi Russel,

Sorry for bothering you again, actually this thread is having more than 1300 comments and I have read the most recent one only so I might have missed your older comments.
Moreover I am still able to update the current EOI after receiving the Invitation to apply for NSW nomination for a subclass 190 visa and its not showing blocked or unblocked anywhere, so I am a bit confused on this.

Apart from all this I have one more confusion about the work skill assessment which is assessed by ACS and they mentioned that after March 2009 is considered to equate to work at an appropriately skilled level and relevant to 261313 (Software Engineer) of the ANZSCO Code. whereas I have mentioned all my experience from March 2007 – Till now in the current EOI.
Due to that definitely I will have higher score point due to 8 years of total experience as compared to 6 years of skilled experienced assessed by ACS.

Is there anything wrong in this scenario? In EOI they have mentioned to fill out all work experience in last 10 years so I updated all my relevant work experience of more than 8 years.

Please advise on the above scenario, that would be a great help.



Russel November 29, 2015 at 6:10 pm

If your EOI is not locked it means you have not got a 189 invitation yet. Also do remember that 189 visas take more time to process as per the border website.
I have answered the part about ACS assessments before, it is surprising you have not checked it, and it is also a part of the ACS assessment faqs – in most cases ACS does not count the first 2 years of your employment because they feel you have not gained the expertise.
In most cases the experience and education level stated by the Assessing body is final and binding, because border makes the decision based on the info provided by ACS or any assessing body.
So if ACS states 6 yrs and you write you have 8 yrs, it might still count only as 6 yrs for Border.


Johann November 22, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Hey Bob, I’m moving with my family from Auckland, New Zealand to Melbourne, Australia as I’m being transferred through work and I have two questions I’m hoping you may be able to help clarify for me.

Question 1:
As we could be looking to be in Australia for a good while I would like to take up residency and I’ve noted that when submitting an EOI I need to provide an IELTS exam or some skills assessment – is this still applicable given that I’m moving from NZ?

Question 2:
I have an IT degree and a Postgrad diploma in business. I’ve been working as an ICT Manager for the past 6 years but started of as a software engineer. Is there a particular skills category I should select?


Shirlee November 21, 2015 at 6:16 pm

I’ve scanned Google and this site for anyone that has tried to move to Australia as a Glazier (333111) and see that it’s not such a popular area. We also read it may be taken off the SOL! We desperately want to come over but until a formal qualification is assessed by the TRA we can’t do anything. It’s so frustrating – now my question is – if my husband actually went to visit our friends in Aus and at the same time tried to find a company that would hire him if he had the TRA assessment – then this would probably be the best way however isn’t a 189 visa better than a 457 visa as you pay a lot more for a family on a 457 to live (medical etx)? I’d just love to know what others think and what they’ve done to make their dream a reality?


Ida November 16, 2015 at 4:21 pm

Dear Bob,
I truly appreciate that you provide such a fruitful website and answer people generously.
My question is that what will happened if we choose both visa subclass 189 and 190 in EOI step and receive invitation from 190 subclass. Will the invitation for visa 189 be canceled or still we will have to chance to get 189 invitation.
Best regards,


Russel November 16, 2015 at 4:57 pm

Hi Ida,
If you get a 190 invitation, the EOI gets locked so you will not get a 189 invitation during this period of 60 days
Once the EOI gets unlocked, you may get the 189 invitation, but that clearly depends on your point score.


Ida November 17, 2015 at 3:36 pm

thanks Russel, will the EOI unlock process happen automatically if I ignore the 190 invitation?


Russel November 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm

Yes the EOI will automatically unlock after 60 days. But remember there is no guarantee you may get a 189 visa invite. You always get only one invite at a time. States generally sponsor only once, and will not responsor unless you really had a good reason to refuse the invite the 1st time. I dont know if 189 visa invitation comes more than once.


Manal October 26, 2015 at 7:21 pm

I have a question,I have submitted an EOI beginning of this month,but i want to update it to show interest in a state,will that affect my date of effect or it will be considered a new application?


Dristi October 5, 2015 at 11:50 am

Hello Bob,
I have a query. It would be great if you solve it. I have sent email to skillselect but didn’t receive reply. Can a couple file two different eoi as primary applicant making each other secondary applicant. I have positive skill assessment of bachelor in Engineering degree and not my masters degree which is in Energy. I have relevant skill employment upto june 2015( i submitted migration skill assessment to engineer australia on July 8th), and have been continuing the same job from March 2013. Can I mention about my masters degree in EOI? Also do i need to mention job experience only upto june ? I am confused whether mentioning my masters degee and job after june would be consider false claim in EOI ,which is not.


BobinOz October 7, 2015 at 5:08 pm

This isn’t a question I can answer for you, see my important notices above, this is something you should be discussing with a MARA registered migration agent. Good luck, Bob


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