Expression of interest
Completing the EOI is a critical stage of the visa application. You will be assessed based on the information provided in the EOI. If you over-claim points your visa fee may be forfeit. That said, it is not an overly difficult stage, as long as you are meticulous and have a good understanding of what is needed to get through. I’ve scored this 6 out of 10 on a difficulty level, not as it is hard, but just to keep you aware that errors here can cost you in the future. The timeline for it is as long as it takes to obtain state sponsorship, approximately 12 weeks.
Filing your expression of interest
If you’re filling out your expression of interest, then hopefully you’ve got all your supporting evidence in order as there is no way of knowing when you’ll get invited to apply for the visa and you need to provide supporting documentation at the time of applying. DIBP publishes some useful guidance documents that can be helpful in completing the EOI. Please make sure you’ve read them thoroughly so you are sure that you are ready to take this next step, if so, then please read on, if not go back and complete your English test and Skills Assessment before taking this next big step.
The expression of interest is an online document that is completed within Skills Select. Skills Select is an online service that Australia uses to manage its migration programmes. Applicants interested in migrating to Australia complete an EOI within Skills Select, and applicants can then be found and nominated for visas by Australian employers, State or territory government. The good news is there is no fee associated with completing an EOI. From the information you input into Skills Select, your points will be calculated. You are then ranked according to the number of points you have and invited to apply depending on your ranking. The good news if you are applying for a 190 visa is that when you receive State nomination you will automatically be invited to apply, no matter if there are people ahead of you in the queue. Your EOI is stored in the system for up to two years, and you can go back and modify it if your circumstances change. You MUST amend it if you have relevant changes as you are invited based on the points allocated in your EOI and if you are invited and cannot support your points then you forfeit your application fee (several thousand dollars) and could be barred from applying again for 3 years! You also only have 60 days to provide the supporting evidence and so it is imperative you have completed your Skills Assessment and English test prior to submitting your EOI as if called forward, you have to provide these documents. Considering it takes 12 weeks for Skills Assessment – you can see why there will be a serious problem if you jump the gun and apply before you are ready to do so.
When completing your EOI, there are lots of helps and tips to try and limit mistakes. The system was set up with individuals making their own application in mind and so DIBP have given lots of useful information so non-agents can successful navigate the system. The EOI is relatively simple to complete.
There are 14 pages to negotiate:
- The first page is is for your personal details – nothing complex here. Simply fill in your details, nationality and any additional passports/citizenships you hold. As a dual citizen, I had to complete the second half of this form.
- Page 2 is a confirmation page so you can make sure you’ve got your details right.
- Page 3 is where you select your visa category, one click and you’re moving on.
- Page 4 is for family members. The way they ask the question is a little bit confusing, they ask “Are there any family members the client would like to include in a future application?”. What you need to remember is that you are not filling in an application, but only an expression of interest to apply so the family you wish to bring with you when you apply is what you need to include. For me it was 3 family members; wife and 2 children. If your spouse is an Australian citizen then you do not need to include them in the count.
- Page 5 is related to the class of visa – as my application is for subclass 190 where I need State sponsorship, I needed to nominate the States I am looking to for help. You can pick as many or as few as you wish, provided they are sponsoring.
- Page 6 is for English requirement. You’ll need to enter the type of test you did, test reference number and the results. Skill Select will calculate the points allocated for English proficiency based on your inputs here so make sure you get them right and don’t fib.
- Page 7 is for education. You enter your degrees obtained here and from your inputs your points are calculated. On this page you’ll also be asked about any qualifications obtained in Australia and any additional languages you speak and wish to claim points for based on your proficiency. These weren’t applicable for me.
- Page 8 relates to the skills assessment. You enter the nominated occupation, assessing body, date of assessment and reference number on this page.
- Page 9 is for partner skills. If you are claiming points based on your partners skills then some additional fields will open up so you can input their occupation, skills assessment and English competency. This was not relevant for my application.
- Page 10 is linked to the skills assessment and is where you’ll input your work experience over the past 10 years. For each job you input you’ll need to say where it is relevant to your nominated occupation and based on that it will calculate points for you. On page 10 you can also input any relevant work experience gained in Australia – this was not relevant for me.
- Page 11 is a check page for points calculations. You’ll need to review the information you entered previously and then confirm the details are correct.
- Page 12 is a declaration page which you need to read and confirm that you’ve understood everything, answered truthfully etc.
- Page 13 is a review page where all the information you have inputted into Skill Select is summarised for review and for you to confirm it is correct.
- Page 14 is the last page and it informs you if everything has been entered correctly and the number of points you are claiming. If you are happy with everything then go ahead and submit your application.