By Invite Only: The 4 Secrets to Obtaining an Invitation to Apply for a Skilled Visa
Applying for a visa to enter Australia can be difficult and complicated, and as a registered migration agent, I often come across clients who have tried (and failed) to complete the application process themselves.
One of the most difficult aspects of the process is getting to the point of being issued with an “invitation to apply”. Many applicants consider the likelihood of receiving an invitation to apply for a visa from the Australian Government to be similar to winning the lottery! This comparison is not entirely unreasonable – only a fixed number of places are available for invitation rounds, which are issued twice monthly.
The Skill Select System is intended to prioritise and streamline the queuing for eligible applicants. It is designed to weed out ineligible and dishonest applicants. Unfortunately, this may mean that sincere applicants may get excluded because of the mistakes that they have made in the application process.
Here are four key secrets that can help you secure an invitation to apply for a visa.
(Please read our article on how to calculate your Australian skilled visa eligibility before trying to get an invitation to apply.)
1. First come first served
This is a fairly straightforward aspect of the Skill Select System – if two similar Expressions of Interest (EOI) are lodged, the one which was submitted first has priority. In practical terms, what this means is that if two people with similar qualifications and the same points score each submit an EOI, the person who lodged their EOI first will be offered the invitation to apply before the later person. As numbers for each allocation are limited, this priority system may mean that the later in time EOI’s may be pushed into a later invitation round.
2. Higher Points Have Priority
Priority is also assessed according to the number of points scored in the Skill Select program. The higher your skill points score, the greater your chances of increasing your priority ranking – even over those who lodged their expression of interest first. Higher scores have priority over EOI timing.
What this means is that if you have a score of 70 points, you will always be given priority over applicants who have only received a score of 60 points even though they submitted an EOI earlier. Invitations are issued to the highest scoring EOI’s first, and any remaining invitations are then issued to the next highest score.
The result of this system is that DIY applicants try to claim a very high score. They interpret the criteria in a very loose manner. I often get people who think they score 95 points or over! An EOI with such a high score will indeed get an invitation to apply very quickly, however, remember that the subsequent visa application has to match your EOI score. Which brings us to the next point.
3. Accurate Point Score
Although it may be tempting to inflate your EOI points score to improve your chances of obtaining an invitation to apply, remember that proof is required to support your claim. If you do not have the evidence to support your EOI points score, you will not be able to make a valid visa application. It is much more important to have an accurate (even if conservative) EOI score which you are certain that you can back up with evidence.
Bear in mind that the Skill Select program is not based on luck but on your ability to participate in the skilled workforce. If you do not actually have the necessary skills, you will not be granted a visa. If you submit a visa application based on inflated scores, and are unable to evidence your score, the visa application will fail. You will not be refunded your visa application fee, which can amount to several thousand dollars.
Another important point is that the Skill Select EOI system does not provide feedback on what your correct score should be. This is why it is so important to obtain advice from a registered migration agent as to what sort of point score you can submit.
Recent invitation round results show that the majority of invitations are issued to those who have scored the minimum 60 points. However, many of these applicants would have had to wait for a longer time. Also, certain occupations have higher cutoff points, and even though 60 points is considered eligible to apply, a higher cutoff point means that no invitations will be issued to EOI’s below the cutoff point.
Therefore, submitting an EOI is a balancing act of claiming the highest number of points available to you vs the amount of time you are able to wait for an invitation.
4. Editing Your Expression of Interest
If you have already submitted an expression of interest but you feel that it may contain an inaccurate score, you can log in to the skill select system and correct any issues. Editing your score in the EOI will push you back in the queue to your edited date. However it is better to wait longer as compared to receiving an invitation to apply which you cannot prove.
Remember that the expression of interest might seem to be the first step in the your visa application process. However, it should only come after all the document preparation has been done. Many applicants focus on their EOI point score first and think that they can sort out any documentation after getting an invitation to apply. However that is most certainly the wrong way to go about the application process. Move Migration can help ensure that your eligibility is thoroughly assessed, and your entire case is planned out so that the EOI is accurate and filed correctly.