As of 1 July 2012, all prospective migrants are required to submit an online Expression of Interest (EOI). You can submit an EOI here.
An EOI is basically an e-form to indicate your interest to migrate to Australia. Before you submit your EOI, you must ensure you have completed and received a positive skills assessment in your nominated occupation, as well as completed and received your IELTS results. The rest of the info required will depend on the components of the points test.
The form itself is pretty straightforward, as Skillselect will guide you through each page of the form submission and prompt you accordingly should you miss out any information. Submission of an EOI is technically free of charge, though the prerequisite IELTS and skills assessment aren't.
One important thing to note is this: An EOI is the first step to a visa application but it is NOT a visa application. The system doesn't allow you to attach supporting documents when you submit an EOI but it is extremely crucial that you enter all the details truthfully and accurately at this point, because any wrong/false information entered into an EOI can potentially cause your visa application to be rejected later on.
After you submit your EOI, the system will auto-compute the number of points that you can claim based on the information you have keyed in. Do note that you can technically submit an EOI even if you have less than the minimum 60 points required - however, if you have less than 60 points, your EOI submission will be taken as incomplete. This means that it will remain in the Skillselect system but you will not get an invitation to apply for a visa. Only after you meet the minimum cut-off will the submission status be taken as complete and you become eligible for invitation during the next available invitation round.
Your submitted EOI will remain in their system for 2 years. During this period, you can log in anytime to update your EOI status if there are changes to your circumstances, as long as you have not received an invite. (For example, if you improved in your IELTS score and can claim more points, then you can update your EOI with the new IELTS score.) Other time-based information, such as age, is auto-updated by the system and requires no further action from you.
After you have submitted a complete EOI, this same website will still remain your best friend! I visit this website an average of once a day! On separate tabs, the main website provides reports of past invitation rounds as well as dates of coming invitation rounds, both of which should be of interest to you.
From July 2012 to present, invitation rounds are conducted twice a month only. By the end of each month, Australian Immigration will determine the maximum number of invites to be issued the following month. Some bad news at this point - the maximum number of invites has been decreasing in 2013, which is bad news for us intending migrants as it means there are fewer and fewer invites being offered. Needless to say, the whole purpose of a points system is to allow the most qualified migrants (ie those with more points) to be invited first. If you have 70 points, you will be invited before the 60-pointers. Yep, I keep saying, migration is not easy and not for everyone.
|Skilled - Independent (subclass 189)||90||900||1800||2800||2800||2470||1938||1745||1875||1719||693||18 830|
|Skilled – Regional Provisional (subclass 489)||10||100||200||200||200||197||110||100||125||111||45||1398|
On the midnight of the first and third Sunday of every month (please refer to the website for specific dates), the system will automatically issue invites to the completed EOIs based on:
- the number of points calculated in the EOI; and
- for those with the same number of points, the invites will be given on first-come-first served basis, meaning those who submitted their EOI earlier will be invited first.
The bottomline is this: Don't procrastinate in submitting your EOI if you are already sure you want to make the move to Australia! As their manpower needs are filled, the process for intending migrants can only get more and more difficult. You never know when they may decide to raise the cut-off points or change the points component eligibility criteria!
3. Occupation Ceilings
Recall in one of the earlier chapters, I mentioned the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)? In addition to the SOL, Immigration also publishes occupation ceiling reports to show the exact number of vacancies that they have for every nominated occupation. As more and more people are invited over time, the vacancies (especially for the more popular occupations) will start to decrease. The system will automatically stop issuing invites to those who offer any nominated occupation which has reached its occupation ceiling, even if the applicants have 60 points or more.
According to the reports on Skillselect, the following nominated occupations have reached its occupation ceilings and no further invites will be given to those who offer these occupations:
- Chemical and Materials Engineers
- ICT Business & System Analysts
- Electronic Engineers
- Telecommunications Engineering Professionals
- Other Engineering Professionals
- Software and Application Programmers
As of 3 June, the number of invites for Industrial, Production and Mechanical Engineers has also reached 75% of its occupation ceiling.
Therefore, I reiterate the all-important message once again: Don't procrastinate! 别错失良机! Especially so if you are in the ICT and Engineering sector.
This section is written in response to some readers, forummers and friends who have posted questions on EOI submission, even before I wrote this chapter. A repeat of my earlier disclaimer: I am not a migration agent or expert. I am merely someone considerably well-read for matters pertaining to migration to Oz via subclass 189 and am currently going through the process myself. If you require professional advice regarding your unique circumstances, please approach an actual migration agent!
Q1. I have only 60 points. Does this mean I will not get invited/have to wait very long for an invite?
What's next after EOI?
If you are successful, you will receive your invitation to apply for a visa (via email) on a late Sunday night or early Monday morning (like me! Hooray!!) and you are all set for the next Chapter on PR Lodgement!
For the rest of the chapters, do take a look at my overview post here.