|Welcome to our MIGRATE TO AUSTRALIA Web Site|
You've started to think about migrating to another country. You're considering Australia as a possible destination and you have started to do some research. We assume you've been to the web site of the Australian Department of Immigration (DIAC), www.immi.gov.au This link takes you to the DIAC site. If you haven't yet had a look at it, you should definitely do so soon - but be prepared to be overwhelmed (and perhaps confused)!, which has all the information you could possibly want or need: of all the sites you could visit, this official government site is the most comprehensive, the most exhaustive and the most up-to-date.
Why are you still looking?
The reason may be that the Department of Immigration site contains a lot of information you DON'T want or need and you're hoping that someone somewhere has found a way to simplify the mass of complicated and often confusing information you have seen about migrating to Australia.
There are nearly 130 types of Australian visa, some of which are straightforward, like e.g. the Visitor visa. Migration visas, however, are definitely not straightforward: working out which migration visa is the right one for you requires a great deal of research and careful analysis and comparison, while submitting a migration visa application requires advance planning, thorough preparation and very serious attention to detail, especially now that the Australian Government has made a fundamental change to the process by which Australia issues migration visas.
Fundamental change in the visa issuing process
On 1 July 2012 the Australian Government introduced the Skilled Migration Selection Model, or "SkillSelect" for short. This is a new electronic on-line service for managing the skilled migration program, which completely changes the way people who want to live and work in Australia can apply for an Australian skilled visa when they are not sponsored by an employer or a state.
Before 1 July 2012 Australia accepted visa applications from any skilled person interested in living or working in Australia - but you often had to wait a long time before you found out whether your application had been successful or not. From now on
From your point of view two important advantages of the new system are a) that you don't have to pay a fee to the Department of Immigration until you submit your visa application, after you receive their invitation, and b) that the new system will significantly reduce the time DIAC needs to process your visa application. From Australia's point of view the main advantage is that it will give Australia much greater control over who can apply for a skilled visa and when.
To have the best chance of getting an invitation to apply for an Australian visa, it is essential that you have a good understanding of how the new SkillSelect system works. Unfortunately, getting a good understanding of how the new SkillSelect system works is not at all easy and we expect that many people will in the end decide that they need the help of a Migration Agent. We have summarised the main features of the new system below - just move your mouse over the headings - but there's a lot more to the new system than is included in this summary. Migration Agents will know how the system can be used to your best advantage and we provide you with detailed comprehensive advice on how to use SkillSelect in our Eligibility Assessment Report. In the meantime have a look at the relevant sections of the DIAC website, SkillSelect and Migration Blog:SkillSelect.
The information entered into the database (your Expression of Interest) must fully match the information submitted to the Immigration Department in your visa application - if it does not, you risk the penalty of a three-year ban - so it would be wise to get someone to supervise the process. Probably the best person to do so is a Migration Agent, who will not only supervise you but will make sure that your Expression of Interest won't be lodged until all the information and documentation required for a successful visa application is ready to be submitted.
You can make sure of this yourself, of course, but the complexity of the whole thing is quite staggering and the price you pay for a single - perhaps avoidable - mistake is considerable: not only will you lose all the work you have done - and your chance to come to Australia in the short-term - but you will also lose all the money you have invested in the visa application process.