Invitation Only: 4 Secrets to Being Invited to Apply for a Visa
Applying for a visa to enter Australia can be difficult and complicated, and as a 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 are excluded because of innocent 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.
- First come first served
This is a fairly straightforward aspect of the Skill Select System – if two similar applications are lodged, the one that was filed first has priority. In practical terms, what this means is that if two people with similar qualifications and the same points score apply for a visa, the person who lodged their expression of interest first will be the next cab off the rank. As numbers for each allocation are limited, the priority system may mean that later applications will be pushed into the next round.
- What’s the (right) point?
Priority is also assessed according to the number of points scored in the Skill Select program. The higher your skill score, the greater your chances of increasing your priority ranking – even over those who lodged their expression of interest first. 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.
One of the major pitfalls experienced by DIY applicants is their approach to self-scoring. In an attempt to secure a higher priority ranking, it is common for applicants to score themselves too generously. However, it is easy to fall foul of the strict and specific guidelines on how points are to be awarded. If you are considered by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to have awarded yourself an excessive score, you are at risk of submitting an erroneous expression of interest, which may invalidate your visa application completely.
- Count your points wisely
Although it may be tempting to inflate your Skill Select points score to improve your chances of a successful application, remember that proof is required to support your assertions. If you do not have the evidence supporting your points score, you will not be able to make a valid visa application. So it’s crucial to have an accurate – even if conservative – score which you are certain you can back up with available data.
Bear in mind that the Skill Select program is not based on luck but on skill – and if you do not actually have the necessary skills, you will not be invited to apply for a visa. And don’t forget that if your visa application fails, you will not be refunded your visa application fee, which can amount to several thousand dollars.
Another important point is that the Skill Select 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 points score your skills should attract.
Recent invitation round results show that the majority of invitations are issued to those who have scored 60 points. What does this mean? If you can’t improve your points score – for example by improving your English skills – then it is important to secure priority status by applying as early as possible.
- Editing your expression of Interest
The good news is that if you have submitted an expression of interest but you feel that it may contain inaccuracies, you can log in to the online system and correct any issues. While it is true that this will push you back in the queue to your edited date, an incorrect expression of interest will completely invalidate your application. Better to wait slightly longer than to have no prospect of a valid visa application!
An expression of interest is only the first step of your visa application process. Many applicants are so focused on the point score that they lose sight of the fact that all aspects of the visa application must be fully justifiable. Move Migration can help ensure that your expression of interest is accurate and is filed correctly, to maximise your chances of being invited to apply for a visa.