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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Australia to Implement Skilled Migrant Selection Register from July 1, 2012

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has released additional details about the Skilled Migrant Selection Register (SkillSelect) reform which was announced on May 11, 2011.

The implementation of the new Skilled Migrant Selection Register known as SkillSelect is aimed to help Australia select the best and brightest skilled migrants from a huge number of prospective migrants and to fill the available places in the migration program. The SkillSelect system will be based on an Expression of Interest (EOI) and subsequent invitation to apply to ensure a match between the number of applicants, the number of available program places and the available processing resources.

DIAC describes SkillSelect as an electronic two-stage process. Prospective applicants first have to submit a claim for skilled migration through an online EOI and they may then be invited to lodge an Australian visa application on the basis of their EOI. Applicants will be selected from their points test score in each occupation category and invited to apply for skilled migration to Australia at regularly scheduled intervals.

All prospective applicants will be required to meet the relevant English language proficiency and obtain the necessary skills assessment prior to their EOI submission.
The SkillSelect system will affect prospective applicants for the following skilled visas:
  • Skilled Independent subclass 175 (migrant) and 885 (residence)
  • Skilled Sponsoredsubclass 176 (migrant) and 886 (residence)
  • Skilled Regional Sponsored subclass 475 (provisional) and 487 (provisional).

SkillSelect will take effect on July 1, 2012 and from that date, all new prospective applicants for the visas listsed will have to submit an EOI and wait for an invitation before they can lodge their visa application. For those who have lodged a visa application before that date, DIAC will process the application in accordance with any priority processing direction in effect at that time.