The Australian Government has decided on a major reform in the way Australia selects skilled migrants.
The Skilled Migrant Selection Register, (SkillSelect) will build upon and draw together the suite of reforms to the skilled migration program over the past three years to deliver the skills Australia needs.
SkillSelect will be an electronic system based upon a two-stage process.
- Prospective applicants will first submit claims for skilled migration by an online Expression of Interest (EOI).
- Those applicants that have the skills and qualifications needed in the Australian labour market will then be invited to make a visa application.
This is a significant change from the current situation, as applicants for independent, family or state or territory sponsored migration will be required to receive an invitation in order to lodge a visa application.
Once invited, SkillSelect will ensure a match between the number of applicants and the number of available program places. This will result in streamlined processing times.
SkillSelect is proposed to commence on 1 July 2012, with the first round of invitations expected to occur in January 2013.
As of the effective date, new applicants for independent, family or state/territory sponsored migration would need to submit an EOI and be issued with an invitation before lodging a visa application.
Special arrangements will apply to certain people who, on 8 February 2010, held or had applied for a Skilled – Graduate (subclass 485) visa. This group is able to apply for a permanent skilled visa under the previous system, until the end of 2012.
The fact sheet for this program is at: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/skillselect-faq.pdf
The main information page is at: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/skillselect.htm