word speech bubble illustration of business acronym term EOI Expression of Interest

Expression of Interest (EOI) is a relatively new way to apply for skilled migration to Australia, which is done through a system called SkillSelect.

If you are interested in the points-based skilled migration or business investment and innovation visa program, you are now required to submit an EOI and receive an invitation before you can lodge a visa application.

It is beneficial for you to read this section, even if you believe you are not interested in the above types of visas, as this may be an option for you even if you are seeking employer sponsorship (more on employer sponsorship in the next section).



SkillSelect is an online service enabling skilled workers and business people interested in migrating to Australia to submit their details so that they can be considered for a skilled visa via an ‘Expression of Interest’ or ‘EOI’.

The SkillSelect program came into force on 1 July 2012, meaning that any skilled persons wanting to migrate to Australia will need to submit their details first through SkillSelect, as an EOI; and then will need to wait to be invited before they can apply for one of the new points tested skilled migration visas.

This program is very similar to the online submission program that has been in effect in New Zealand for some time; which in an indication that this process for applying for skilled migration is an effective one.

SkillSelect came about to ensure that the skilled migration program is based on the “economic needs of Australia”, and to instil greater controls on who can apply for skilled migration, when they can apply, and how many people can apply in any given year.


Applicable Visas

The following visas must be applied for following submission of a successful EOI through SkillSelect:


The following three visas can be applied for following an invitation by a SkillSelect-approved Australian employer:


Although it is not necessary for you to submit an EOI for the last visas listed above, by doing so you will open opportunities for Australian employers to find your details and contact you / nominate you for a visa.



The bonus of this program is that processing times for visas are expected to decrease, meaning you should have your visa even sooner than previously.

Likely, as the trend has been moving, there will be more opportunities in regional areas than in major cities – you should therefore keep this in mind and the more you are open to regional areas of Australia to live and work, the more chance you will have in gaining a visa (if you meet all requirements of the visa).

This program will also mean that opportunities may be opened for you to be found and nominated for skilled visas by Australian employers, or you may be invited by the Australian Government to lodge a visa application.

Your EOI will stay in the system for a period of two years. During this time, you can update your application with additional work experience and qualifications, among other things; allowing you to obtain extra points toward your visa.

You are able to withdraw your application during this two year period, should your circumstances change; and your application will be withdrawn automatically if you are granted a visa.

Applying From Within Australia

You should note that submitting an EOI from within Australia does not grant you a bridging visa, as it is not a visa application.

If you are invited to apply for a visa, and you are in Australia at the time, you must be in Australia lawfully (holding a substantive visa or a Bridging Visa A or B) for you to be granted a visa.

Please note that anyone can submit an EOI, however, you must meet the necessary visa requirements for the visa(s) you are expressing an interest in. If it is a requirement for your visa that you have completed an English Language Test, Skills Assessment or Job Ready Program, and you haven’t, then you cannot submit an EOI.

NB – If you give false information on your EOI, and after you are invited to apply for your visa (s) are found to not meet the requirements; your visa will be refused. Not only that, your information provided may be considered fraud, which could subject you to a three year ban, which may in turn prevent the grant of a further visa.

To learn more about SkillSelect and EOI, visit:




1. Do some research into the EOI / SkillSelect program to find out whether this is the route you should take for applying for a visa for Australia.

2. If you are still unsure as to what visa/s you qualify for in Australia, I recommend that you consult a migration agent, such as TSS Immigration (see info box below for further details).



TSS Immigration offer reasonable rates for assessments and for visa application assistance. I regularly work with Will Aldous, a MARA registered agent who is friendly and helpful, and whom I recommend for migration advice. Will is a very busy man, and can only assist people who are serious about migrating to Australia. If that sounds like you, make sure you add “Referral from Nadine Myers” in the subject header of your email to ensure that he priorities your enquiry. Will can be reached at: will@tssgroup.com.au.



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