Live the Life Australia

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 There is more to Australia than great career opportunities. The Australian lifestyle includes enjoying the great outdoors, with its beautiful beaches, luscious green rainforests and wonderful weather.

Some of Australia’s major cities have been listed in the top 10 most liveable cities in the world, offering both great work opportunities and lifestyle.

About 2000 people each month are invited to apply for a skilled migration visa by the Australian Government. Check the Skilled Occupation Lists to see if you have the skills Australia needs.

If you would like to live the life in Australia, take the next step and submit an expression of interest for a skilled migration visa through SkillSelect by creating an account and registering your skills. You may be living the life in Australia sooner than you think!

For more information on how you can fast track your life in Australia as a skilled migrant, visit our website at

State and territory nomination through SkillSelect

Since 1 July 2012, SkillSelect is the only way you can be nominated by a state or territory government for skilled migration. Since May 2013, state and territory governments across Australia have nominated almost 20 000 intending migrants and more than 10 000 of those have been granted a visa.

SkillSelect provides an effective way for states and territories to find and engage with skilled workers in order to meet their specific skills shortages. SkillSelect makes the nomination process simpler and more efficient than ever before. So how does it work?

State and territory governments first identify the skills and qualifications they need in their local labour markets. Then they nominate skilled workers directly from SkillSelect. The workers they choose must have occupations listed on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL). The CSOL contains more occupations (644 in total) than the Skilled Occupation List (which contains 192 occupations) so your chances of being nominated are higher.

There are benefits for you in being nominated too.

If you are nominated by a state or territory, you receive an extra five points for a Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190) visa and 10 points for a Skilled – Nominated (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa under the Points Test. So it’s worth considering putting yourself up for nomination if you are close to the Points Test pass mark as an independent migrant.

Nomination by a state or territory through SkillSelect means that you will be issued an invitation to apply for a visa as soon as you are nominated, rather than having to wait for a scheduled invitation round to take place.

Your application will be processed as a high priority if a state or territory nominates you.

In return, if a state or territory nominates you and your visa application is successful, you’ll need to commit to remaining in that state or territory for a period of time. There may be other obligations for nomination by specific states or territories.

If you want to be nominated by a state or territory government, check out their websites to find out what you need to do to gain their nomination.

So if you have the skills Australia needs, submit an expression of interest (EOI) in SkillSelect today so state and territory governments can find out about you.

Even if you have already submitted an EOI, you can still update your EOI to show your interest in state or territory nomination.

More information about state and territory nominated visas is available on the department’s website.

Working Abroad Expo – Singapore

More than 2000 residents attended the recent Working Abroad expo in Singapore, with DIAC presentation sessions proving popular throughout.  Many Singapore residents spoke to our experts about migrating to Australia on skilled visas and submitting expressions of interest through SkillSelect. 

There was a variety of nationalities attending the May 11-12 expo, including both Singaporeans and an array of third party nationals.  Most residents who attended were nursing, engineering and IT professionals. Migrants who hold such professions are highly sought after as they are able to assist in filling skill shortages in the Australian labour market.

Overall, the expo was a success for the department, with staff helping highly skilled potential migrants better understand the SkillSelect process and the options available for skilled migration.

There has never been a better time for eligible skilled migrants to come to Australia though SkillSelect, with short processing times for successful applicants.

To find out if your occupation is in demand, check out the SOL/CSOL on:

If you have an occupation Australia needs and you can meet the visa requirements, log into SkillSelect today and tell us about yourself and what you can bring to Australia’s workplace at:

Come and visit us at the Working Abroad Expo – Singapore

Last weekend, the department attended the
Working Abroad Expo in Kuala Lumpur and gave residents the opportunity to speak to our experts about migrating to Australian on a skilled visa. This opportunity presents itself again, specifically to anyone who lives in Singapore as DIAC will attend the expo in Singapore on May 11-12. 

Our experts will be available to talk to you throughout the day about the different visa options available for living and working in Australia. They will also answer any questions about submitting an expression of interest through the SkillSelect website and will present each day from 1.15–2.00 pm.

When:  May 11-12, 11.00 am to 4.00 pm

Where:  Traders Hotel Singapore, 1A Cuscaden Road, Singapore

To register online or for more information, visit

The Working Abroad Expo in Kuala Lumpur saw around 1000 attendees over the weekend of May 4-5.  Many attendees found the information presented by our experts to be very valuable. 

If you are unable to attend the expo in Singapore then you can learn more about SkillSelect by visiting 

Remember, there is no better time to express your interest through SkillSelect, so read about our top 10 tips here:

SkillSelect Facebook live chat—update

We recently invited people who ‘like’ us on Facebook to take part in a live chat about SkillSelect.

The SkillSelect team spent an hour on the event page answering over 100 questions and engaging with 1188 users, proving to be our busiest live chat so far. Posts about the live chat reached a further 15 632 people, more than half our audience on Facebook.

There were many great questions asked during the live SkillSelect chat. So for those of you who have not yet liked our Facebook page, we have provided a quick snapshot of some of the questions raised and our answers.

Q. If I get exactly 60 points for the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa, how long does it take for my Expression of Interested (EOI) to be approved (for invitation)?

A.  Invitation rounds are currently held twice a month. If you have 60 points at the moment, then you stand a good chance of being invited in the next couple of rounds provided your occupation has not reached its yearly invitation ceiling.

 Q. What does it mean by Associate Degree or Advanced Diploma? Are they the same as a Bachelor degree?

A. You should contact your assessing authority and ask them to confirm if your qualifications are of the recognised standard to an Australian Bachelor Degree.  You may also find the following post on the SkillSelect Technical Support site useful regarding claiming points for educational qualifications, visit

 Q. Is there any change taking place to the Skilled Occupation List in July 2013?

A. The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is reviewed annually. The current SOL was released by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in June 2012 following advice from the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency. Consultation for the development of the 2013 SOL commenced in October/November 2012.  The 2013 SOL is expected to be released by DIAC in mid-2013 and is expected to come into effect from 1 July 2013.

Q. Is there a minimum employment experience threshold needed to apply for a Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa through SkillSelect?

A. There is no minimum employment experience threshold for this visa type. However, some assessing authorities may require a certain amount of employment experience to achieve a suitable skills assessment. If you have skilled employment experience, you can use this to increase your points in the points test.

Q. Is it possible for SkillSelect to send an acknowledgement automatically when medical reports are accepted/ assessed successfully?

A. SkillSelect and e-Visa are two separate systems and processes. SkillSelect is the database for selecting intending migrants for an invitation and e-Visa is where you lodge your visa. If you want to find out about your medical results you should contact your case officer or send an enquiry through our contacts page on the website,

Q. Why do applicants (from non-English countries) need 7 in each band for IELTS?

A. For points tested visas it is a threshold requirement that a person have at least ‘competent English’, which is a minimum of six in each of the four components of the IELTS test.

To be awarded points for higher English language ability all applicants, regardless of citizenship, must demonstrate their level of competency by sitting an English language test such as IELTS as proof of their language competency. 

As well, some skills assessing authorities require higher English language levels for certain occupations.  You can confirm this with your relevant assessing authority.  

More questions and responses are available on the department’s Facebook live chat page.

We’d like to hear from you on what topic you would most like to read from us next. Complete the poll below andthe topic with the highest number of responses will be the feature of our next post. Stay tuned!

Which of the following topics would you like to hear more about in our next blog?

  • English language requirements (13%, 36 Votes)
  • Skills assessments (14%, 40 Votes)
  • How State and Territory Government nomination works in SkillSelect (25%, 70 Votes)
  • Employment and qualifications in SkillSelect (27%, 77 Votes)
  • EOI information and statistics (21%, 59 Votes)

Total Voters: 281

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Come and visit us at the Working Abroad Expo – Kuala Lumpur

If you are in Kuala Lumpur and are interested in migrating to Australia on a skilled visa, the department will be presenting at the Working Abroad Expo in Kuala Lumpur on May 4-5.

Working Abroad is one of the largest international recruitment exhibition companies and the department will present on Australia’s skilled migration policies and SkillSelect.

Our experts will talk about the different visa options available for living and working in Australia and will also be available to answer any questions about submitting an expression of interest through the SkillSelect website.

When:  May 4-5 from 1.15 pm to  2pm each day

Where:  Shangri-La Hotel, 11 Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

To register online or for more information, visit

 If you are unable to attend the Working Abroad Expo in Kuala Lumpur then you can learn more about SkillSelect by visiting 

Remember, there is no better time to express your interest through SkillSelect, so read about our top 10 tips here

Top 10 tips for submitting an expression of interest (EOI) in SkillSelect

We’ve compiled a handy list of tips to help you submit your EOI in SkillSelect.

  1. Make sure you express an interest in the right visa for your circumstances. Skilled visa options are available on the SkillSelect website at or you can use Visa Wizard to help you find out which visa is suited to you.
  2. Confirm if your occupation is eligible for skilled migration by checking the relevant Skilled Occupation List.
  3. Get to know the specific requirements for the visa you are interested in. Only certain skilled visa options are available through SkillSelect. The visa information booklets on our website will help you understand who qualifies to migrate to Australia. In particular, Booklet 11, SkillSelect includes information about how the system and process works.
  4. Ensure all your documents are in order before you start your online EOI. Until you provide evidence of all required documents, such as an IELTS test and skills assessment, you will have an incomplete EOI in SkillSelect. Detailed information about skills assessments can be found in a recent blog post.
  5. Read the ‘Getting started’ user guide on the SkillSelect support site. It has step-by-step instructions about entering your EOI details.
  6. Record the unique EOI identification number that is generated once you have created your EOI profile. This number will be your username when you log-in to SkillSelect.  Most importantly remember your security question answers.  If you happen to forget your password this will be the only way to reset it.
  7. When you fill out the EOI questions you should take your time and ensure you understand the questions. If you get stuck or don’t understand a question—use the question mark icons. They provide information to help you answer.
  8. Update your details in your EOI as soon as your circumstances change. This will ensure your updated details are considered in the next automatic invitation round. You also won’t be caught out if you receive an invitation before updating your details—SkillSelect automatically suspends access to an EOI when it sends an invitation.
  9. An invitation to make a visa application may be issued within a short timeframe after you submit your EOI. Remember, you must be able to support the claims you make in your EOI with documentation and have this ready to provide when making your application.
  10. Check the monthly reports tab on the SkillSelect web page. These reports indicate the number of invitations issued for the previous automatic invitation round. It also gives a breakdown of the number of invitation issued against each of the occupations on the Skilled Occupation List. If an occupation has reached its ‘ceiling’, or the maximum limit of invitations that can be issued for that certain occupation, then it is unlikely that any more automatic invitations will be issued for that occupation during that program year.

We’ll be covering skilled migration visa topics over the next few weeks.

SkillSelect—no better time to express your interest

Thanks to SkillSelect, skilled visa processing has never been faster, which is great news if you’re interested in working in Australia.

The system was introduced on July 1 last year and the first invitations were issued through SkillSelect in August, resulting in 2717 skilled visas granted five months later—processed well within the processing time standards.

If you receive an invitation through SkillSelect to apply for a skilled visa, you have all the details for your visa application ready in a complete EOI.

People who have had their visa granted through SkillSelect have contacted us to share their positive experience. Kapil, who submitted his EOI in October 2012 and was invited to apply for a skilled visa in November 2012 said:

‘I really appreciate the way my visa got processed so quickly. As promised the new streamlined visa processing using SkillSelect is very efficient. Another great thing to point out is that the website has all the required information for a candidate to process their application. I have done the visa processing all by myself and found all the relevant details from the official website.’

SkillSelect identifies overseas workers with the skills that are most in need in Australia. State and territory governments are using SkillSelect to search for overseas skilled workers. To date, they have nominated 3700 points tested skilled EOIs and 218 business innovation and investment EOIs through SkillSelect.

So if you have a skill Australia needs and meet the visa requirements, log into SkillSelect today and tell us about yourself and what you can bring to Australia’s workplace. You may be invited to lodge a skilled visa application sooner than you expect.

SkillSelect is an online system so you can start your EOI at any time. If you’d like to find out more about SkillSelect you can read previous blog posts or visit the SkillSelect website at

The department welcomes all feedback, compliments and complaints. If you’ve been granted a visa through SkillSelect you can let us know about your experience through our website.

Stay posted for another blog post next week about top tips for submitting an EOI in SkillSelect.

SkillSelect for employers Facebook live chat—update

We recently invited Australian employers to take part in a Facebook live chat about SkillSelect. Kruno Kukoc, First Assistant Secretary of the Migration and Visa Policy Division, spent an hour answering 59 questions. More than 1600 people viewed the Facebook event with some great questions asked. We thought we’d provide a snapshot of the types of questions raised and our answers for those who may not use Facebook or have not ‘liked’ the department’s Facebook page.

Q. How can Australian employers gain access to potential skilled applicants’ expressions of interest (EOI)? 
A. Australian businesses require a valid AUSkey to gain access to SkillSelect and a range of other government online services. SkillSelect is a secure online service. For more information about registering for an AUSkey, Australian businesses can visit 

Q. How can Australian employers recruit suitable skilled applicants? 
A. Australian employers with an AUSkey can access SkillSelect online to find suitable overseas skilled workers to fill vacancies that cannot be filled from within the Australian labour market. Employers can contact suitable skilled workers through the SkillSelect system to discuss nomination and employment. Employers can also find skilled workers outside of SkillSelect and nominate them directly.

Q. What is the average time frame for skilled applications to change from submitted status to processed stage?
A. For points tested visas, the invitation date to apply for a visa will depend on the potential skilled migrant’s attributes, for example skills, age, IELTS score and occupation compared to other candidates. A client who has submitted an EOI needs to be invited to apply for a visa. SkillSelect is a competitive process and there are no guarantees that an invitation will be issued. 

For employer sponsored visas, employers who find a skilled worker can nominate a suitable candidate at any time. After an invitation has been issued or an employer has nominated a skilled worker, then a visa application can be lodged.

Q. Is there an annual limit for visa invitations and what is the requirement for issue of an invitation in SkillSelect?
A. The annual limit for skilled independent visas and state nominated visas is determined by the annual planning level and the need to process residual applications. Employer sponsored visas do not require invitations through SkillSelect but they are subject to annual planning levels.

Q. Do subclass 457 visa holders need to wait for two years before applying for a permanent residence visa?
A. No, clients can apply at any time, but they must meet the minimum requirements for the stream for which they can apply. Subclass 457 visa holders who want to apply within two years of their visa being granted would be able to apply for permanent residence through the direct entry stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.  They would need to have an employer willing to nominate them in a skilled occupation on a full-time basis for at least two years.

For subclass 457 visa holders seeking permanent residence through the temporary residence transition stream:

  • the visa applicant must have worked for their employer for two years in the nominated occupation
  • the applicant’s employer must offer them a permanent position in that occupation.

More information is available in Booklet 5.

Q. How many potential migrants have been invited to apply for a visa through SkillSelect since 1 July 2012?
A. More than 3500 people have been invited to apply for a visa through SkillSelect. In mid October, a further 1000 invitations will be issued plus state and territory invitations. The department is moving quickly to secure  significant numbers of skilled migrants through SkillSelect.  

More questions and responses are available on the department’s Facebook live chat page.

SkillSelect for employers Facebook live chat

If you’re an employer and have a question about how SkillSelect can help you find overseas skilled migrants, or you would like to find out more about SkillSelect, join us on Friday 28 September between 10.30–11.30am AEST to chat with First Assistant Secretary of the Migration and Visa Policy Division, Kruno Kukoc.

While Kruno can’t respond to questions unrelated to the live chat, including individual case enquiries, he will be able to answer general questions about how SkillSelect enables employers to quickly and easily identify potential skilled workers with the skills and attributes needed for their business.

To join in, you need to ‘like’ the department’s Facebook page.

Twitter users can also join our live chat by tweeting @SandihLogan.