SkillSelect Australia – How It will Work

Australian government announced on a change in the immigration policy on effect from July 2012. One of the changes is the creating SkillSelect, a new agency which will control and monitor the recruitment of skilled immigrants.

In the basis of SkillSelect is the registration of the candidate in the system through Expression of Interest (EOI). In this stage, the person detail on his intention to immigrate to Australia and elaborate on his skills. According to their website, the following info will be required:

  • Basic personal information
  • Nominated occupation
  • Work experience
  • Study and education
  • Level of English skills
  • Details of a Skills Assessment, related to the nominated occupation
  • Business and investment experience

The above details and skills will account to a certain score, . The highest scores on certain field will automatically qualify for independent visa and family sponsored visas. State and Territory Sponsored Visas will be granted for applicants whose skills are required by a certain state or territory. In such case, the applicant will also get and automatic invitation. Business Skills Visa is also a new type of visa issued under SkillSelect. For the time being, there is no further information about it.

Employer could also use the system of SkillSelect to find skilled workers and to grant Employer Sponsored Visa. Therefore, SkillSelect will be shaped like a job agency for skilled immigrants, holding the data which describe their skills and competence. However, employers will still be able to invite a skilled worker outside of the SkillSelect process, using their own recruitment.

Also, the candidates are subject to Occupation Ceiling criterion, which limits the number of immigration for a certain occupation group on a yearly basis. Once the limit has reached, not more visas will be granted for this group in that year. This is relevant only for independent, family sponsored or state/territory sponsored visas.

When an applicant is invited, it is a must to apply online within 60 days before the invitation expires. Shall an individual refuse twice to an invitation, his EOI will be removed from SkillSelect.

According to SkillSelect, the following Visa will still be open for application with employers granting visas to foreign workers:

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) – “Allows Australian employers to sponsor employees who are foreign nationals for a permanent visa to work in Australia”.
  • Regional Sponsored Scheme (RSMS) – “Allows employers in regional or low population growth areas of Australia, to sponsor employees who are foreign nationals for a permanent visa to work in Australia”
  • Temporary Business (Long Stay), subclass 457 program – “This is the most commonly used program for employers to sponsor overseas workers to work in Australia on a temporary basis.”

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Australia Immigration Policy Change from July 2012

The Australian government declared (March 9th 2012) on forthcoming to the current visa system an immigration policy. Reading the releases, it suppose to help Australia to suffice the demand of workers. Basically it can help workers to reach permanent status faster, and suppose to make things more flexible.

Some of the key features of the reforms include:

  • simplifying the current visa structure
  • introducing a streamlined and simplified pathway to permanent residence for
    eligible subclass 457 visa holders
  • changing the upper age limit from less than 45 to less than 50 years of age
  • changing to key visa criteria including English language and skill requirements
  •  introducing one consolidated sponsored occupation list to replace the 457,
    ENSOL and StatSOL occupation lists
  • strategically refocusing the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) network to the Direct
    Entry stream of RSMS
  • integrating the new ENS and RSMS visas with the skilled migrant selection
    model, SkillSelect, which will be launched on 1 July 2012

The above changes no doubt cause a lot of changes for the planning of future immigrants. Not everything is clear yet and clarifications are expected to be given. I recommend for future immigrants of Australia to go over the following document to see the repercussions on your plans:

Related sources by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Australian Government: