On 11 May 2011, the Australian Government announced the implementation of the Skilled Migration Selection Register – SkillSelect.
In today’s blog we will address the who, what, when, why and how of SkillSelect for the independent skilled and family sponsored skilled migration programs.
What is SkillSelect?
SkillSelect is a new skilled migrant selection register that will ensure Australia can select the best and brightest skilled migrants from a pool of prospective migrants. It is based on an electronic two-stage process whereby prospective migrants first submit an Expression Of Interest (EOI) and may then be invited by the department to make a skilled migration visa application.
SkillSelect will build upon and draw together the suite of reforms made to the skilled migration program over the past several years. It will deliver the skills Australia needs by matching the best and brightest prospective migrants to the available places in the migration program.
How will SkillSelect operate?
Prospective applicants first submit claims for skilled migration through an online EOI and then may be invited to make a visa application. It is important to note that an EOI is not a visa application; it is an expression of interest in being considered for migration. All prospective applicants will be required to have met the relevant English language standard and obtained the necessary skills assessment before submitting an EOI.
People will be invited to lodge an application on the basis of their EOI. Applicants will be ranked according to their points test score and the time they submitted their EOI. The highest ranking applicants will be invited to apply each month. An occupation ceiling will exist that will cap the number of invitations to apply for migration in the points tested visa categories by occupation so that we can ensure that the program covers as many occupations as possible on the Skilled Occupations List.
SkillSelect will ensure a match between the number of applicants, the number of available program places and the available processing resources. This will streamline processing times.
Who will SkillSelect affect?
All prospective applicants for Independent Skilled, State/Territory/Family Sponsored or Business Skills visas will need to submit an EOI and receive an invitation before they can apply.
People who have lodged a visa application before SkillSelect takes effect and whose applications are pending processing, will have their application processed in accordance with any priority processing direction in effect at that time.
When will SkillSelect be implemented?
SkillSelect will commence on 1 July 2012. As of this date, new applicants for Independent, Family or State/Territory Sponsored or Business Skills migration will need to submit an EOI and be issued with an invitation before lodging their visa application.
Transitional arrangements currently apply to certain people who, on 8 February 2010, held or had applied for a Skilled Graduate (subclass 485) visa. This group will still be able to apply for a permanent skilled visa under the current system until the end of 2012.
In our future blogs we will address some common questions about SkillSelect and the impact it will have on the State and Territory Sponsored, Business Skills and Employer Sponsored migration programs.
For more information on SkillSelect see: