So, you are interested in migrating to Australia as a skilled worker or professional and want to know more about how to go about doing it?
You may have heard that the Australian Government has now changed the way migrants apply for visas. This method is called SkillSelect and is an online system in which you have to complete what is called an Expression of Interest or EOI.
The EOI is a record of information about you and your skills which potential employers in Australia or the various government bodies in that country may use to decide whether to “invite” you to apply for a visa. Only then will you be allowed to apply for a visa. The hope is that it allows Australia to choose the people that fit their requirements and speed up the whole system of visa applications and make it more streamlined.
What do you need to do before you put in an EOI?
Before you go online on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s website to submit an EOI, you need to think what you will need to include. The most important things are:
How well do you speak English?
The Australian Government wants all migrants to speak English as well as possible, as it thinks that they will not only do their job well but they will fit into Australian society better too. If you speak English as your first language and have a passport from a country like the U.S.A., Canada, or the U.K., then you will have no problems but, if not, then you will need to show that you have a minimum level of English. The best way to do this is to complete an IELTS test. The minimum level for skilled migration is IELTS level 5, but the actual level depends on the job you intend to do in Australia.
What skills do you have?
While Australia is short of many skilled workers, who it really wants changes from year to year and also from place to place. You will need to show that you have certain minimum qualifications which will be acceptable in Australia and to do this you will need to complete a Skills Assessment if you are outside Australia or a Job Ready Program if you are in Australia already e.g. if you are a student.
Where would you like to live in Australia?
Many migrants, just like ordinary Australians, either prefer the big cities, places where relatives or their own original countrymen live or a town near or on the coast. This is quite understandable, but many other places in Australia are short of skilled workers, while the more popular places to live often have too many skilled workers already. It is definitely an advantage if you think about living and working in what the Australian Government calls “regional Australia”.
Do you have all your documents ready?
You do not need to have any documents for the EOI at all, but if you are invited to apply for a visa then you will definitely need documents for everything – language ability, skills, qualifications, work experience, medical and health checks, character and criminal record checks and so on and these documents will need to be translated into English by an approved translator if they are in another language.