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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{ 1537 comments… add one }
  • 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?


  • 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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