By invitation only – Australia’s Skill Select Programme explained
While SkillSelect is bad news for many hopeful migrants, the new system will result in some major improvements to the skilled migration program. Most significantly, by limiting the number of people able to apply to the number of visas actually available each year, processing times should dramatically drop. The sixth month freeze on new skilled visa applications from July to December will also provide an opportunity for the Department to catch up on its sizeable back-log of applications. The SkillSelect Register will also include a feature where those submitting an EOI can choose to have their information available to Australian employers. Interested employers will be encouraged to search the Register to find qualified candidates to nominate through the separate employer sponsored visa programs. No invitation to apply will be required in these cases, however normal employer sponsored criteria must be met, such as minimum length employment contracts and salary levels.
The huge global demand for permanent residency in Australia means its Government can choose the most qualified persons to receive their visas. The way it determines those most qualified is through its visa points test. From 1 July, achieving the minimum pass mark of 65 will no longer be sufficient in the vast majority of cases. This means that many prospective migrants, although meeting eligibility requirements, will not score high enough to ever receive invitations to apply.
It will also result in many candidates only receiving invitations if willing to accept state sponsorship, particularly sponsorship that limits residence to regional Australia. To take advantage of the present opportunity to apply before the introduction of SkillSelect on 1 July, contact a Registered Migration Agent as a timely and accurate application is of the essence. If deciding to wait until July 2012 to apply through the new SkillSelect