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 www.auskey.abr.gov.au
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.