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GSM Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers from our Registered Migration Agents to the most Frequently Asked Questions about General Skilled Migration.

    1. What is SkillSelect?
      The Australian Skilled Migration program is a points-based system designed to attract highly qualified and experienced professionals in occupations in demand. The Department of Immigration introduced The Australian SkillSelect system on 1 July 2012, which brought significant changes to the General Skilled Migration program. SkillSelect is an online system that helps Australia regulate the inflow of skilled migrants in order to avoid market saturation in certain fields. It also supports the government in managing who can apply for skilled visa applications.
    2. Which occupations are approved for use under the General Skilled Migration program?
      To check if your occupation is in demand, please access the list of eligible skilled occupations for General Skilled Visas.
    3. What is the current pass mark?
      The pass mark for skilled migration is 65; however, some occupations require a higher pass mark dependent on demand and availability to be successful in receiving an invitation to lodge a visa.
    4. How skilled migration points are calculated?
      Points are awarded on the basis of the factors such as age, qualification, work experience, etc.
    5. What is an EOI?
      Expression of Interest (EOI) is an indication that you would like to be considered for a skilled visa. Therefore, it is NOT a visa application and doesn’t give you a bridging visa. You will be asked to provide a range of information in your EOI depending on the visa(s) you want to be considered for. Once you have completed your EOI, you will receive a notification from SkillSelect. Your EOI will be stored in SkillSelect and is valid for up to two years. You can access your EOI and update your information at any time.
    6. How many Expressions of Interest can I submit?
      There is no limitation on how many expressions of interest you can submit in SkillSelect; however, you are only able to receive a maximum of two invitations against one EOI.
    7. What is ‘Occupation ceiling’?
      Each year the Minister for Immigration sets a limit on the number of skilled migrants allowed per year per each occupation category, called an occupation ceiling. Some of the more popular occupations reach the ceiling before the end of the financial year.
      No invitation will be issued for skilled via applicants, once the occupation ceiling is reached during the financial year.
    8. What is Pro-rata Arrangements?
      The Department of Immigration allocates only a small number of the more popular occupations each month, so they are not all used in one round. The occupations which are effected by pro-rata invitations tend to attract a higher pass mark.
    9. What was the point score for the last invitation round for pro rata occupations?
      Points required and the number of invitations can be found on the Department’s website –
    10. Do I have to be offshore to apply for Skilled Migration Visa?
      You can apply either onshore or offshore of Australia and you can include dependent family members such as spouse/partner and dependent children.
    11. Who can be included in my General Skilled Visa application?
      You can include dependent family members such as spouse/partner and dependent children.
    12. What is the minimum English Language level required for a General Skilled Visa?
      You must score at least competent English in one of the accepted English tests to meet the minimum requirements for General Skilled Visas, however, you may need higher score either to have your skills assessed or receive an invitation from the Department of Immigration to apply for your skilled visa
    13. How long before I receive an invitation?
      You must obtain a minimum of 65 points to lodge an Expression of Interest. The higher points you achieve, the more likely it is that you will receive an invitation to lodge a visa application for permanent residency. Invitations for the Subclass 189 are currently issued every two months. The results of the invitation rounds are published on the Department of Immigration website after every round.
    14. What happens if I claim more points to receive a faster invitation?
      Your invitation will be based only on the information presented in your EOI. If you lodge a visa application and your points score is less than claimed in your EOI and invitation letter, your visa will be refused even if you are able to pass the points test or meet other threshold criteria. If your visa is refused, visa application charges you have paid will not be refunded. If you receive an invitation and your points have decreased or your personal information is not accurate, you may consider NOT proceeding with a visa application. Let the invitation lapse and correct the information in your EOI and wait to receive another invitation.
    15. Can the Department Extend the Deadline for my EOI?
      Once you have completed your EOI, it is stored in SkillSelect and is valid for two years. Once it expires, you will need to submit another EOI to the Department and wait for the invitation to be granted.
    16. How long does the Australian General Skilled migration process take?
      The average processing time for the General Skilled Migration will vary according to the visa type being applied. However, as a general guide, it would be between four to seven months upon lodgement. Taking into consideration processing of your skills assessment and waiting for an invitation to be issued, the expected processing time for General Skilled Visa can vary greatly.
    17. How Much does it cost for General Skilled Migration?
      The costs involved in submitting a visa application include, but not limited to, the following:

      • Department of  Home Affairs Visa application charge; this will vary dependent on the number of applicants included in your application and their age
      • English Test, please access the Australian English Requirements article
      • Skills Assessment Application fees. Dependent on the assessing authority for your occupation, fees can vary
      • Medical Examination
      • Police Clearance
      • Translations, if applicable

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