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Busting the myths about SkillSelect

Image - SkillSelect at the London Expo

SkillSelect will be a major change to how Australia manages its skilled migration program. There is much talk about the changes, and as with anything new, not everything you hear is always correct. This blog busts some of the myths we’ve heard about SkillSelect.

Myth 1 - SkillSelect only affects points tested visas—formally known as General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas.

A common myth is that SkillSelect will only affect the independent skilled migration program- this is not true.

If you are interested in applying for a skilled visa after 1 July 2012, you may have to use SkillSelect depending on your visa preference/s. Therefore, it is important you understand how SkillSelect will affect you and your visa options.

It will be compulsory to submit a complete expression of interest (EOI) and receive an invitation before you can lodge a visa application for the following visa programs:
• Subclass 189 Skilled – Independent (Permanent) (Class SI)
• Subclass 190 Skilled – Nominated (Permanent) (Class SN)
• Subclass 489 – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) (Class SP)
• Business Skills visa program.

It is optional (although highly recommended) to submit an EOI to be found and contacted by an employer for the following visas programs:
• Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (Class EN)
• Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (Class RN)
• Subclass 457 – Temporary Business (Long Stay) (Class UC)

More information on visa options can be found on the SkillSelect website.

Myth 2 -  I can't  submit an EOI for more than one visa.

You will be able to submit an EOI for one, a few or all skilled visas in the one EOI. You do not need to submit multiple EOIs.

SkillSelect is a free online service, and by expressing interest in more than one skilled visa, you could increase your chances of being found by a state or territory government or employer who needs your skills.

Myth 3 - It will still be expensive and time consuming for employers to find skilled workers.

SkillSelect will make finding overseas skilled workers easy for employers and help ease skill shortages through managed migration.

A key function of SkillSelect is to assist in easing skills shortages through providing Australian employers with access to a pool of intending skilled migrants who are seeking employer sponsorship on either a temporary or permanent basis.

SkillSelect is ideal for employers wanting to quickly identify options for resolving specific skill shortages. It will really help employers operating small to medium businesses who have found it difficult, expensive and time consuming to find workers in the past. SkillSelect is targeted, convenient, a free service, and is without any obligation to sponsor. Employers will be able to easily search across a number of key selection criteria such as experience, qualifications, language skills and willingness to work and live outside major metropolitan centres.

Once suitable skilled workers are identified, employers are able to send a message in SkillSelect to the skilled worker notifying them of their interest in discussing employment and sponsorship opportunities. When sponsorship arrangements have been established, the skilled worker’s EOI details are seamlessly transferred from SkillSelect to final assessment and processing systems, saving time for everyone.

Myth 4 - I can intentionally embellish my claims on my EOI to increase my points score and likelihood of getting an invitation.

There are some serious potential risks in providing false and misleading information in your EOI.

If you are invited to apply for a visa, the information in your EOI will be used as part of your visa application. You will then need to confirm your claims and submit evidence with your application.

If you provide false or misleading information on your EOI and receive an invitation based on this information, your application may be refused. If your visa application is refused you will lose your visa application charge and may also be subject to a bar which prevents the grant of a further visa.

Myth 5 -The introduction of SkillSelect will mean less skilled visas will be granted.

This is not true.

Each year the government announces the number of places in the migration program as part of the Budget. This announcement on the program size is what determines the number of skilled visas available each year.

In the 2012–13 Budget an additional 3400 places  will be allocated to the skilled migration program—this is a total of 129 250 places.

SkillSelect will not increase or reduce the overall number of visas granted. It will only determine who is able to lodge a visa application for the independent, family sponsored, state/territory nominated and business skills visas. The target number of skilled visas granted will be the same as the number set by government in the Budget.

Have you heard any other myths about SkillSelect? Leave us a comment and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the new process.

For more information visit the SkillSelect website.

Information on changes to points based skilled migration:  http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/new-skilled.htm

Information on the permanent employer sponsored visa reforms : http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/permanent-employer-sponsored-visa-whats-new.htm

Comments (83)


Will the 885 visa be in place till December 2012?


Appreciate your prompt reply Miranda.


Good job, help to wipe out some myths. What changes will be there on 457 and RSMS?
Thank you


Hi Soaim - thank you for reading the blog.

There are currently no proposed changes to the 457 visa program.

Information on the reforms to the Permanent Employer-Sponsored Visa Program (ENS/RSMS) can be found at ENS/RSMS reforms. You can find details on the new subclass 187 (RSMS) at 187 subclass information.

We encourage you to submit an EOI if you are interested in the employer sponsored visa programs, so your details are available to employers to contact you to discuss potential employment and sponsorship opportunities.


1. If I have less then 65 points can I submit my EoI for state sponsorship?

2. Will immigration give any opportunity to International students those who completed Bechelor or masters from Australia to relocate regional area with less point (55 to 60 points ) ?


Hi Shibli - hopefully the below information assists you.

You will be able to submit an EOI even if you do not meet the pass mark; however, you will not be invited to apply for a visa until you meet the pass mark.

In relation to your second question, the points test and factors which attract points will remain unchanged. The points tested part of the program is designed to meet medium to long term skills needs, which is why it is focused on a limited number of occupations in medium to long term shortage and on well rounded individuals skilled in those occupations.
You might be interested to know that the points test currently awards points for study in a regional area, and with the introduction of SkillSelect there will be the option of applying for the Subclass 489 Skilled Regional) visa. This is a four year provisional visa for that requires the visa holder to live and work in a specified regional area in Australia. If you are nominated by a state or territory government, or sponsored by an eligible family member, you are then awarded additional points in the points test. You can find information about this visa on our website http://www.immi.gov.au/skills/skillselect/index/visas/subclass-489/.
If you don’t meet the pass mark without these extra points you may still submit an EOI through SkillSelect, as you might want to consider employer sponsorship as an option. Employer sponsored visas don’t require a points test and SkillSelect will be a great way for potential employers to get in touch with people who might want to migrate under employer sponsorship.


The new system has left me confused as to what visa options would be open to my husband and myself. We hold unprotected subclass 444 visas, we are over 40, have been living and working in Australia for 4 yrs. Due to complications of either qualifications, work experience or age skilled independent is highly unlikely. With the changes to employer sponsored it appears this is now no longer an option either, unless I am not understanding the changes correctly.


Hi Paula, thank you for your comment.

We are unable to comment on case specific queries in the Migration Blog. However, SkillSelect will allow you to submit an EOI for a range of visas if you meet the threshold criteria for that visa/s. This includes the independent skilled, state or territory government nominated and employer sponsored migration programs.

The skilled visa options from 1 July 2012 are currently on the SkillSelect website. We encourage you to review the visa options and requirements, to self-assess your eligibility on 1 July 2012.


1. Invitations will be released monthly eg. last working day of each month?

2. Is there is any validity of Invitation, say one must lodge application before last day of next month?

3. How the Occupation celing is determined for each Invitation round. eg, if Annual celing is 12000, approx 1000 per monthly Invitaion round?

4. Can we update EOI submitted info, if any circumstance changes while we wait for Invitation Rounds. eg. better IELTs score after EOI submission that improves my point by 10.


Hi Hasan - thank you for your questions. We hope the below answers are of assistance.

1. Invitations for the independent and family sponsored visas will be issued monthly. We propose that the first round of invitations will be issued in August 2012.

2. If you receive an invitation, you will have 60 days to lodge a valid visa application online, before the invitation expires. Applications received outside this timeframe will be invalid.

3. We will provide information on the occupation ceiling levels on our website on 1 July 2012. The occupation ceiling will be an annual amount that will operate from 1 July 2012. It will not be divided into a monthly amount. Once the occupation ceiling is reached, no further invitations for that occupation group will be issued. The occupation ceiling is based on the 4 digit unit group level of the ANZSCO. You can find information on ANZSCO at: http://www.immi.gov.au/employers/anzsco/anzsco-code.

4. You can update your EOI at any time prior to receiving an invitation. We encourage you to update your EOI regularly. For example you may need to update your EOI you have gained new work experience, gained a higher qualification and/or improved your English language ability and/or changed your family composition. If you provide updated information which changes your points score or your ability to make a complete EOI against a visa, then SkillSelect will update your ranking and ability to be considered for an invitation automatically.


Thanks a lot Miranda !
I am sure your answers will benefit many.


i am a qualified class teacher of year 7
from the past 3 years what are my chances for australain permanent residence


What I have heard about SkillSelect is:

1- It will take longer (Indefinite period) to process your visa application.

2- If you have 65 points, it will be almost impossible for you to get selected in your occupation (Developer Programmer) because so many people will be applying for the same occupation with higher points.



Thank you for your questions.

1. If you are invited to apply, we expect to achieve more effective visa processing times, as the total number of invitations and applications will be controlled and matched to the migration program. Each year the government announces the number of places in the migration program as part of the Budget. In the 2012–13 Budget 129, 250 places have been allocated to the skilled migration program. This limits the number of skilled visas that can be granted in a given program year. Previously, when the department received more applications than migration program places this led to longer processing times. SkillSelect is designed to prevent this in the future by only issuing invitations to match the available places in the migration program.

2. SkillSelect will ensure the skilled migration program is based on the economic needs of Australia. The Australian Government will be able to manage who is able to apply for skilled migration and invite the best and brightest skilled migrants to meet this need. Essentially, this means that invitations for the independent and family sponsored visa programs will be issued to the highest ranking EOIs each month, subject to occupation ceilings. If the highest ranking EOI is for 65 points, then a 65 point scoring EOI may receive an invitation. You could be considered for state or territory nominated visas which does not require you to be the highest ranking EOI in order to be invited, invitations for this program based on the nomination of a state or territory government. You can also express interest in employer sponsorship and may be contacted by an employer to discuss employment and sponsorship opportunities.


I am holding 485 visa at this moment and not covered by the transitional arrangement.

in the following link, under KEY dates it is mentioned that "From 1 January 2013, points tested skilled migration visas granted in Australia (subclasses 885, 886 and 487) will be closed for new applications."


My question is, will i still be able to apply for the GSM visa or I must have to apply throuhj EOI?


Hi Mahbub,

We are unable to respond to case specific questions on this blog. However, you are correct from 1 January 2013 visa subclasses 885, 886 and 487 will be closed for new applications.

If you want to apply for the new visa subclasses 189, 190 and 489 you will need to submit an EOI in SkillSelect and receive an invitation. You find information on these visas on the SkillSelect website - www.skillselect.gov.au


What if a ln applicant is standing at 65 points and has done professional year and is a fresh graduate any chances of selected under this rule or work experience is a must??


Thanks for your question. You do not need to have had recent work experience or have recently studied in Australia to lodge an EOI for one of the new points based skilled migration visas. You should note that that while not required, recent skilled work experience and study in Australia will continue to attract points on the points test.

More information about the new visa subclasses and the points test can be found here:


Are prospective applicants under the state sponsored category required to submit an independent application to the states for sponsorship even with submitting an EOI on the skillselect?


SkillSelect allows you to register your interest in being nominated by a state or territory government under the 190 and 489 visa options. In order to be nominated by a state or territory government for these visas then you must submit an EOI in SkillSelect.

You can still enquire with the relevant government agency first about nomination before submitting your EOI. However, as I have mentioned you must then submit an EOI in SkillSelect in order to be nominated and receive an invitation to apply for this visa type.

Alternatively, when you submit an EOI for this visa type, you can select one state or territory you are interested in receiving nomination from or all states and territories. These state or territory governments can then search for and contact you to organise nomination.



I plan to seek for WA sponsorship. I would like to know when we submit EOI, do we automaticaly haev the state sponsorship 5 points ?
My current points are 60 + 5 points of state sponsorship = 65.

60 are total of = age 30, experience 5, education 15, english10 !

so, I would like to know if I choose to have WA state sponsorship, would I be consider meet the pass mark 65? or just 60?


Hi Dennis,

It is important to remember that you will be able to submit an EOI even if you do not meet the pass mark; however, you will not be invited to apply for that visa unless you meet the required pass mark.

Let me explain how state or territory nomination will work in SkillSelect – under the 190 and 489 visa options, points are available for state or territory government nomination. For the 190 visa it is 5 points and for the 489 visa it is 10 points. Because you can be nominated by a state or territory once you’re in SkillSelect, it is possible that you could submit an EOI with fewer points than the pass mark and be invited by a state, if the extra points that nomination gives you would lift your score up to the pass mark. Remember though that you would need to be nominated for a state or territory nominated visa and if you don’t get nominated, or if even with a nomination you don’t reach the pass mark, then you won’t be invited to apply for a nominated visa.

Another important point is that you can still submit an EOI without sufficient points if you want to consider employer sponsorship as an option. Employer sponsored visas don’t require a points test and SkillSelect will be a great way for potential employers to get in touch with people who might want to migrate under employer sponsorship.



Dear Miranda,

I hold Skilled Graduate Visa 485 and fall under transitional arrangements. Will I be allowed to apply my Permenant Residency under the visa 885/886 under old as well and new points system?

Also would I be allowed to stay in Australia after I lodge my visa or do I need to leave the country?

Any help in this regard would be help ful.

Kind Regards



Hi Pinkesh, hopefully the below information assists you:

If you are eligible for transitional arrangements, you have until 31 December 2012 to apply for a 885, 886 or 487 visa. Transitional applicants may still have access to the points test in effect on 8 February 2010, depending on which SOL your nominated occupation appears. Check out our website for more information:http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/transitional/

If you do apply for a 885, 886 or 887 visa before the end of 2012, you may be eligible for a bridging visa which would allow you to remain in Australia until a decision is made on your application.

It is important to note bridging visas are available on the basis of making a visa application. An EOI in itself does not result in a bridging visa.


My question is wat will happen to those applicatns whose appplications are un decided on 1 july 2012 ? For example I have my skilled independent subclass 175 being process further after finalization of medicals and submisssion of PCC.
Will these be decided on previous criteria or on the present criteria of skill select ??
Please reply me as I am confused.


Hi Shahid,

If you have already lodged a Subclass 175 application then it will be processed according to the legisation that was in effect on the day you made that application. The SkillSelect requirements will only apply to new applications made through the SkillSelect system from 1 July 2012.



Dear all,

If i plan to submitt an EOI to the new 489 visa (skilled regional), how many points will I be awarded for that, if the visa will be granted?

Kind regards,


"We propose that the first round of invitations will be issued in August 2012."

Dear Miranda, in view of the above - how long will processing take once a visa application is lodged in response to an invitation?


Hi Jo-Anne - The time taken to process a visa application can depend on a number of factors, such as the merits of the individual case, preparedness of the visa application and the number of visa applications received.

As I have previously mentioned, SkillSelect is designed to reduce visa processing times by only issuing invitations to match the available places in the migration program.



I am trying to understand how candidates with State Sponsorship are affected by the new rules. Does it mean the new rules are virtually not going to affect any prospective candidates on the state sponsorship category? Because the below url states that if a state nominates you, you will automatically get an invitation. So if I understand correct, invitation is just one additional step for state sponsorship nominated candidates, but are guaranteed to get an invite, is that correct?

The url http://www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au/about-us/news/2012/skilled-visa-sta... states this:

'If you register your EOI on SkillSelect and you are nominated by the Victorian Government for sponsorship, you will automatically receive an invitation to apply, subject to occupation ceilings.'

I am giving my IELTS on May 12th, and will be able to lodge Victoria SS application only on May 28th, when the results come out. Victoria takes 2-3 months by which time I will cross July 1 and into the new rules. How am I affected here? Am I guaranteed to receive an invitation if I apply an EOI with an approval dated after July 1?

Please shed some light on this!



Thank you for your question Satya -

We are unable to comment on individual cases in this blog.

However, I will explain how state or territory government nomination will work under SkillSelect.

State or territory governments will locate and select skilled workers in SkillSelect that they want to nominate. If you are nominated by a state or territory and you have indicated that you meet the points test, you will then receive an invitation in SkillSelect, subject to occupation ceilings.


My question is related to the crierion on which the marks are allocated as per present system, Though it has been answered earlier but little ambiguity.

Is the criterion for marks allocation going to change partially or fully?

(I have ielts overall 7 score, but not in all the individual components), is there a chance that if criterion changes it will be made 7 score on average and not on individual four test pattern for IELTS?

because now i am getting 0 marks for score , if 7 is accepted as in my case i will get 10 marks and my total will become 65.

please clarify. waiting

parmod garola


Hi Gedam -

The points test and factors which attract points will remain unchanged. At time of invitation and when you apply, you will be required to demonstrate that you have at least Competent English. Competent English is defined as an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of at least six in each of the four components of the IELTS test; or at least B in the Occupational English Test (OET) test; or being a citizen and passport holder of either the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland or the USA.

Points will continue to be awarded for English language ability. At time of invitation, demonstrating proficient English ( IELTS 7 in all four components / OET B ) will be awarded 10 points. At time of invitation superior English ( IELTS 8 in all four components / OET A) will be awarded 20 points.

Our factsheet outlines the points allocated under the 1 July 2012 Points Test: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/points-test...



Under SkillSelect, would sponsorship by an eligible relative fetch 5 extra points for visa 190 (as was the case with Visa 176). I am asking this because the information mentioned at the SkillSelect site mentions only about State Sponsorship as a criteria for Visa 190.



Hi Hari - I hope the below answer assists:

A requirement of the subclass 190 visa is that you are nominated by a state or territory government. You cannot be sponsored by an eligible relative for this visa subclass.

If you are interested in family sponsorship then you may wish to research the Skilled - Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa - http://www.immi.gov.au/skills/skillselect/index/visas/subclass-489/



I want to know about applying for 189 visa, i am on graduate 485 dependent visa as my husband is on 485 visa , if i do my skill assessment which is an overseas qualification and in case i receive positive skill assessment , will i be able to apply for independent 189 visa as seen on immigration website (885 and 175 will be merging as 189) does it mean it takes away the requirement of 2 year study for 885 visa or 1 year work experience requirement for 175) and will give me 15 points as bachelors degree out of that 65 points, will i be considered as offshore or onshore applicant after submitting an EOI.



Will engineers still need to go through the Migration Skills Assessment of Engineers Australia?



Hi Wali -
You should read the information on the SkillSelect website which list what you need to have ready before you submit an EOI – www.skillselect.gov.au

If you require a skills assessment for the visa/s you are interested in, you will need to have completed the appropriate skills assessment for your occupation before submitting your EOI.
Please refer to www.immi.gov.au/asri for information on skills assessment for your occupation.


Can a person who has submitted an application for a 175 visa prior to July 1 submit an EOI after July 1 and be invited to apply? Can he have both applications running in parallel or is he required to withdraw the 175 application before he can lodge an EOI and be invited to apply?


Hi John, thank you for your question.

It is important to remember that an EOI is not a visa application. It is an indication that you would like to be considered for a skilled visa

Anyone can submit an EOI in SkillSelect. For example – even if you have an outstanding visa application, hold a valid substantive visa or are offshore.


Thanks, Miranda. I would like to know if I lodge an EOI and am invited to apply, can I apply for a 189/190 visa while my 175 visa is under process? Can I have both applications pending at the same time or do I have to withdraw my 175 visa? Thanks!


Hi John

You are able to lodge an EOI while your 175 visa is being processed. While there is no fee for lodging an EOI in SkillSelect, if you are invited to apply for a skilled migration visa then you will be required to pay a visa application charge when you lodge your visa application. If you make a decision to apply for the 189/190 visa you can do that while your 175 visa is being processed.


Is it true that the Process of EOI has been delayed till the end of the year from it's original implementation date of 1 July 2012, for all onshore students for 885 subclass visa? In the sense that those who are onshore and are not covered by Transitional arrangements can file 885 before 31 December 2012, without requiring to file EOI.

Your assistance is highly appreciated.

Kind Regards
Karan Sharma


Hi Karan -

SkillSelect will be introduced on 1 July 2012 and has not been delayed. You must submit an EOI using SkillSelect for the new points based skilled migration visas - 189, 190 and 489.

As we have previously advised, subclass 885, 886 and 487 visas remain open to all applicants until 1 January 2013, as long as you meet the requirements to lodge a visa application.
There is a detailed blog post on this that you may find useful: http://migrationblog.immi.gov.au/2012/04/24/changes-to-points-tested-ski...



How much is the fee charged to submit EOI?

I read somewhere that it is free. is this true?



Hi Dennis - I can confirm that there will be no fee to submit an EOI when SkillSelect is introduced.

You should refer to our website www.skillselect.gov.au for accurate information on SkillSelect.


Hi, I have a question. If I eventually receive the invitation, but my IELTS result expire at that moment. Can I still apply further Visa ?Thanks!