Last Sunday, Department of Immigration and Citizenship representatives from the skilled migration policy areas joined our colleagues from the NSW Student Visa Centre at the NSW International Student Festival.
Our stall was one of the busiest, with students from across the state enquiring about Student visas,
Post-Study visas, Skilled Migration visas and in particular, SkillSelect. It was a fantastic opportunity for us to talk directly to students and receive their feedback on our Student visa and Skilled Migration programs.
There was a lot of interest in skilled migration among the students we talked to. Many of the students were in their final year of study and were considering their options for permanent migration to Australia. While we welcome this interest it is important for student visa holders to be aware that a Student visa is a temporary visa and there is no guarantee of a permanent migration outcome.
Skilled migration to Australia is highly competitive. It remains possible for students to compete for a place in the program, however to do so you must meet the eligibility requirements in place at the time you lodge your application. Students who do not meet the requirements for another visa should make arrangements to depart Australia before their visa expires. There are serious consequences for overstaying your visa that may affect any future visa applications you may make.
It is also important to remember requirements for skilled migration can change from time to time. For this reason students should choose their field of study based on their academic interests and not in the hope of achieving a particular migration outcome.
With SkillSelect being introduced on 1 July 2012 it was great to see so many students taking an interest in how the new system will affect the Skilled Migration program.
The festival allowed us to answer some of the key questions around SkillSelect. Some of the most common SkillSelect questions we received were:
Will I be granted a Bridging visa when I lodge my expression of interest (EOI)?
No. The EOI is not a visa application and you will not be granted a Bridging visa. A Bridging visa would only be considered once a valid visa application is lodged.
If you do not receive an invitation to apply before your student visa expires you will need to apply for another visa if you want to remain in Australia, or leave Australia before your visa expires.
Can I submit an EOI at any time?
You may submit an EOI from 1 July 2012. However, in order to submit a complete EOI you must meet the necessary requirements for the visa you are expressing an interest in.
Will SkillSelect be able to find me a job?
SkillSelect is not an employment service and will not be able to help you find a job.
If, in your EOI, you choose to be considered for an Employer Sponsored visa, employers will be able to access some of your details in SkillSelect (such as your occupation, work experience and English ability). This information will assist them to consider you for employment. In this way SkillSelect may be able to assist you in finding an employer sponsor.
Some of the other skilled migration questions we received over the course of the day were:
What visa options are available within the Skilled Migration program?
Within the Skilled Migration program there is a range of permanent and temporary visa options. For an overview of the different Skilled Migration visa categories see our fact sheet.
We advise students looking to progress to a Skilled Migration visa to confirm the requirements of the visa they wish to apply for before they lodge their application or submit an EOI.
What are the new post-study work arrangements for students?
Graduates of an Australian Bachelor degree, Masters by coursework degree, Masters by research degree or Doctoral degree will have access to a new post-study work visa scheduled to be introduced in early 2013.
Further information is available on our website.
Do I need to use a migration agent to lodge a skilled migration application or EOI?
No. You do not need to use a migration agent to lodge your application. However, a registered migration agent can advise on visa requirements, help you lodge a visa application and deal with the department on your behalf—usually for a fee.
You can choose to use a migration agent to assist you in submitting an EOI. However, you will only have one login to access your EOI account. You can only specify one email address to be contacted by SkillSelect about any invitations or messages in relation to your EOI account. All email notifications will be sent to your nominated email address and it will be your responsibility to ensure you can access your emails and update your account with any change of email address.
We wish international students all the best with their studies in Australia. If you are a current or former student with a general question about skilled migration, feel free to post it here and we will try to answer it as best we can.