The new SkillSelect site has gone live in preparation for accepting the first applications in July 2012.
30 January 2012
SkillSelect set to bring new changes to Australia visa application process
The website for SkillSelect, the Australian government's new streamlined online visa application system, has gone live. While applications will not be accepted until July 2012, it is the first look at one of the Australian immigration authority's biggest changes.
The programme aims to ensure that Australia benefits from only the most qualified and most suited migrant workers, whether it is to fulfil an economic need such as in the booming mining industry, or to supplement a lagging workforce such as that in the hospitality industry.
The programme differs from its predecessor in that an intermediary step is introduced to the application process; instead of simply allowing anyone and everyone to apply for a visa, applicants must be invited to apply for an Australian visa.
To be invited, applicants must complete an Expression of Interest (EIO) in the programme which details their experience and desired occupation, as well as gauging their language and professional skills.
Each applicant is then ranked and their details made available to local Australian governments and participating employers. If their ranking is suitable or corresponds to a labour requirement, they will then either be invited to apply for a visa, or be contacted directly by an employer to discuss a job opening.
It is hoped that by introducing this step, the Australian immigration authorities will be able to drastically reduce visa processing times as well as fill the growing labour shortages many states and territories are struggling with.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian High Commission.