The revised 2020/2021 visa application program has undergone tremendous changes. This happened for both, skilled independent visa applications and on state and territory levels. The cut has left the process and application to become more challenging than it is, to begin with.
The targeted applicants that are most needed by Australia right now are those who can be of help to the government. The officials are looking for applicants who have work experience and expertise in healthcare, IT, and engineering fields. This is being done keeping in mind the challenges that Australia’s economy is facing post the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do not let these be the reason to feel small or disheartened especially if you are planning on migrating and building a life in Australia. There are a vast number of people who are still shifting to Australia every year. To help prepare you better, it is always better to do your share of research and to be sure of the type of visa that you want to apply for, based on your needs and how the visa caters to it. Once you’re prepared to submit your Expression of Interest (EOI), through SkillSelect, you can be assured at a stroke of better luck in 2021.
PSS International Removals has curated a team of well trained and experienced MARA migration agents who guide you throughout the whole tasks of processes and to get through the challenges one may face while applying for an Australian Visa.
Below we have listed a few things to take into consideration and to prepare before you apply for the Visa.
How to apply for Skilled Migration Visa in Australia, 2021
The first and foremost point to be taken into consideration is that you cannot apply for a visa unless the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has approved you to. The process is such that, you need to submit your EOI which will be further graded. Based on this you will be credited with points that will determine whether you will be invited or not by DHA. It is a key suggestion for you to explore all types of Visa options before you file your EOI.
As of now, there are three classes of the skilled migration program. They are:
Skilled Independent (189)
This is a permanent visa. It allows you to reside anywhere in Australia and is subject to quarterly invitations.
Skilled Nominated (190)
This is also a permanent visa that requires your nomination by the state or territory government. You need to commit to living and work in the designated region for 2 years. If you are nominated, you will automatically be invited to the DHA to apply for the visa.
Skilled Regional (491/191)
This is a provisional visa that requires you to be nominated by state or territory governments or to be sponsored by kin. You must reside in regional Australia for 3 years, after which you can apply for permanent residence.
There are however some general instructions and criteria that the applicants need to have or fulfill before being invited to the DHA.
- To have the required skillset
- Be under 45 years of age by the time of the invitation
- To have received a positive skill assessment in your occupation
- Have the required number of points or credits
- Competent English proficiency
- Should’ve lodged an EOI
- Should be nominated by state or government if applying for Skilled Nominated (190) Visa
- Should be nominated by state or territorial government or close relatives if applying for a Skilled Regional (191/491) Visa.
What is SkillSelect and an EOI?
SkillSelect is an application created by the Australian Government. The app facilitates the submission of the EOI of applicants who aspire to apply for skill-based migration to Australia.
The app allows government officials of the state and territory to access and evaluate your EOI. The validation span of An EOI is 24 months and within the duration, it can be subject to modifications. However, after receiving an invitation from the DHA, any request for edit will not be accepted.
One is granted 60 days to prepare an EOI. It should be meticulously prepared and thoroughly assessed before submission. The absence of important documents or other essential requirements might result in disqualification and thus impede the process of obtaining the visa.
Does your occupation come under the category of Medium Long Term Skilled Shortage List (MTSSL) or the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL)?
Jobs under the MTSSL can be applied under the 189( Skilled Independent), 190( Skilled Nominated) or 191/491( Skilled Regional)subclasses with state or territorial government nomination or can be done on the recommendation of a close relative.
In case your occupation falls under the STSOL category, nomination by the government or an employer becomes valid. Every choice of getting sponsored by a relative or applying under 189 gets ruled out.
How to pass the eligibility rate on EOI
Applicants in the UK mostly gather points by fulfilling the criteria such as their age, competent English, qualifications, work experience, nomination by state/territory government, or being sponsored by a close relative.
The EOI entry marks are 65 points. However, with the cuts being made to the number of invites being sent out, the invitations are mostly targeted at people having certain occupations fulfilling their requirements.
Chances of being Nominated by the state or territory government?
Commitment to the state of Australia, excellence in English language, previous experience in the field, a good skill set, and of course, a family residing in the state or territory priorly are some of the main criteria nomination depends on.
With the new strain of Covid 19 coming out, the government’s focus has totally shifted to applicants who can positively contribute to the economy. Individuals who have a better chance of bettering public health while reconstructing the economy will have the upper hand.
From when will skills be recognized and from when can you claim points for work experience?
Work experience will be counted for, once you have completed the required training and begin employment at your skill level. The date that you’d be considered as fully skilled entirely depends on the type of occupation that has been nominated for you.
- General Occupations: Requires between 1 to 3 years of work experience.
- Australian Computer Society: Requires a minimum of 2 years of work experience if you have a relevant degree, 8 years if you have no formal qualifications.
- Tradesperson: Requires a minimum of 3 years of work experience.
- Accountant: if holding a formal degree, accountants can bag points from the day of the issue of your degree.
Documents required to prove work experience
Applicants need to produce statements regarding their service, the number of work hours, and the duties performed.
Along with these documents, it is essential to enclose payslips, records of taxation, and bank statements.
Is it necessary to perform an English test? What level is needed to be achieved?
Applicants holding UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand, or Republic of Ireland passports are said to hold the Vocational level of English. This level does not gain any points. However, if you sit through an English test, attaining a Proficiency level in English gets you 10 points and 20 points for Superior English.
Does achieving 65 points ensure the Visa?
No. As stated before, classes of 189 and 191 Visas are now restricted only to those with experience in the IT, health, and engineering fields.
Right now the focus is to safeguard jobs for both Australians and permanent residents. This will continue to be the case for this term of Visa programs. Those who attain high scores will only have to wait till the economic situation in the country betters itself.
Is it possible to bring a partner who is not married?
If your partner and you are not married, sufficient evidence of your commitments to each other is required. These commitments need to have been established at least 12 months before your invitation.
Commitments can be verified based on sharing common residence, having domestic, social, and financial support within each other. These proofs are required for applicants who are recently married as well as some legal documentation.
Do criminal records disqualify a visa?
Such cases are looked into carefully and handled with extreme care. You will be required to provide details about when and what convictions were committed, the duration of your sentence, and the step you have taken towards rehabilitation. Your visa will be refused if you do not disclose all the convictions you have committed in the past, including those that are taken off of police records.
Do existing medical illnesses mean you fail the medical required criteria?
The medical factor of the visa is designed so as to not put extra burden and strain on the Australian healthcare system, taking into account the costs that will be incurred as well as the ongoing pandemic that requires special attention. Diseases or health conditions will not directly cause you to fail to fulfill the medical criteria.
Seeking professional advice
With all these factors needed to be kept in mind, it is always a good idea to seek consultancy from a registered MARA migration agent. Speaking to a MARA agent will help you navigate through the complex process of applying for a Skilled Migration Visa in Australia.
DHA recommends that you seek advice from registered agents as they will keep a lookout for the code of conduct and the standards of your application. The agents are also required to be updated on law and migration regulations, and to be under continuous development to maintain and update their knowledge on migration and its regulations.