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SkillSelect – How it Works & Different Categories of SkillSelect

Updated on 21 November, 2023

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Immigration programs are common in countries that have a large number of people coming in for work or education. So, what is SkillSelect all about? It is an immigration program run by the Australian government to match skilled international workers with employers in the country. The system is free, easy to understand, and is like an online job portal that matches workers and employers based on their skills and requirements. If you are a skilled worker or business person looking to migrate to Australia for work, you will have to make an Expression of Interest (EOI) via the SkillSelect platform.


The EOI answers a series of questions about the applicant’s skills and background. An employer or the Australian government may nominate you for a visa application based on this EOI. The SkillSelect profiles can be viewed by potential employers, who can then nominate the individual for a visa. A skill assessment test is also carried out for certain programs which are added to the EOI. It is important to pass this test to get nominated for a visa.

SkillSelect and EOIs

An EOI remains in the SkillSelect database for 2 years. The platform also allows you to store an incomplete EOI so that you can edit it, if required. An incomplete EOI is also stored in the database for 2 years but is ineligible for a nomination or invitation.

Updating an EOI is the applicant’s responsibility and must be carried out as the situation demands. You cannot make changes to your existing EOI after receiving the nomination for a visa application. 

EOIs are usually updated in the following cases:

  • If you have gained some new work experience that might help with your CV.
  • If you have secured higher education.
  • If you have improved your English proficiency skills.
  • If you have acquired a completely new skill set that will help you diversify in the same field or into different fields of the same industry.
  • If your family members have changed, e.g., you had a baby, or you need to include your parents.
  • If you are looking to change your field of work.

These updates are important and can affect your chances of getting a nomination. Applicants must avoid providing misleading facts and false data in the EOI. In cases of falsified data, the EOI is rejected and may even get you blacklisted from the country. 

Your EOI is removed automatically from SkillSelect after two years or under the following conditions:

  • If you have been nominated for a visa application after which you applied and got the visa. 
  • If you have received 2 nominations or invitations for a visa application and you didn’t apply.

How does SkillSelect Work?

Here is a brief guide to using SkillSelect:

  • The first step is to enter the SkillSelect platform through the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website. You have to enter information regarding your educational background, personal background, work experience, desired profession, and if applicable, your business experience.
  • Updation of the relevant information is followed by a test to assess your skills, English proficiency, and education. 
  • You will then have to select a visa category that fits your preferences. This is followed by the EOI (Expression of Interest).
  • Australian employers or state and territory governments can view your profile and may choose to invite or nominate you for a visa application.
  • If you are nominated for a visa application, you will have to apply within 60 days from the date of nomination. Applications submitted after 60 days are not considered and you will have to wait for another nomination to reapply. If you fail to submit your visa application twice, your EOI will be removed from the SkillSelect database. The visa application system will automatically use the information on your previous EOI and hence does not need to be refilled.
  • If the visa application is accepted, you will receive your visa to live and work in Australia. 

What Happens If You Are Not Nominated?

Not everyone who completes the EOI gets nominated for a visa application. The SkillSelect platform also does not provide updates on the progress of your EOI and whether or not it might get nominated for a visa application. The DHA publishes the cut-offs required in the skill test to get your EOI approved after each invitation round. This can provide a clear idea of what to expect the next time.

Bridging Visas:

Bridging Visas are temporary visas specially issued by the Australian government to allow immigrants to stay in Australia while their visa application is being processed. A bridging visa usually lasts about 28 days from the decision day of the main application.

An EOI is not a visa application and submitting one will not get you a Bridging visa. Once a valid visa application has been submitted, your eligibility for a Bridging visa will be assessed.

Different visa categories of SkillSelect: 

There are 8 categories of skilled worker visas available on SkillSelect. The type depends on the skillset of the applicant. The 8 visa categories are described below briefly:

Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent Visa 

This particular visa does not require sponsorship or nomination and is completely based on the points earned through the skill test. It is a permanent resident visa that might require an invitation to apply along with the following prerequisites: 

  1. You must be nominated in an occupation present on the list of skilled occupations.
  2. You must be less than 50 years old.
  3. The skill assessment for the occupation has favorable results.
  4. You have to be relatively fluent in English.
  5. You have achieved the score mentioned in your letter of invitation based on the points test.

Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated Visa

This is a permanent resident visa for skilled employees who have passed the assessment test. However, it requires a nomination from a state or territorial administration as well as the fulfillment of the following criteria:

  1. You must be nominated in a skilled occupation that is on the  skilled occupation list. 
  2. You must also be under the age of 50.
  3. You must have received a valid skills assessment for that occupation. 
  4. You received the score mentioned in your letter of invitation based on the elements in the points test.
  5. You must be able to communicate in English at a basic level and should be nominated by a “state or territory government agency in Australia.”

Subclass 457 – Temporary Work Visa (For skilled workers only)

This temporary visa is valid for up to 4 years and requires the following:

  1. You must be nominated in a skilled occupation that is mentioned in the relevant occupation list.
  2. This visa requires a particular sponsorship either from an Australian employer or from a state or territory government. 

Subclass 489 – Skilled Regional Visa (Provisional)

This is another kind of temporary visa with a validity of 4 years. It allows you to live and work only in specific regions of Australia. This visa requirement depends on the application process, either through the invited path or the extended stay path. 

Extended Stay Pathway:

You must have held a provisional visa in subclasses 496, 495, 487, or 475 to avail of an extended stay. Here are the following requirements:

  1. There are certain health requirements you have to meet.
  2. There are specific character requirements that have to be met.
  3. You should not have any outstanding debts with the Australian government
  4. You should be willing to sign the Australian Values Statement.

Invited Pathway:

Here are the following requirements:

  1. You should be nominated to apply by a state or territory government agency, or an eligible relative must sponsor you.
  2. You must have an occupation on a relevant skilled occupation list.
  3. You need relevant skills assessment for the occupation.
  4. You must satisfy the points test.

Subsequent entry pathway:

You must be a family member of a subclass 475, 487, 489, 495, or 496 visa holder.

 Subclass 132 – Business Talent Visa (Permanent) 

This is an entrepreneur visa that permits you to start a new business in Australia or expand an existing one. You must have a nomination from a state or territory government agency and be invited to apply to obtain this visa. 

  1. If you want to apply for a visa in the Significant Business History stream, you must have a net asset (cumulatively business and personal) of at least AUD 1.5 million and your business needs to show a turnover of at least AUD 3 million.
  2. If you want to apply for a visa in the Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream, you must have a minimum of AUD 1 million as venture capital funding to start and develop a high-value business proposition in Australia.

Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme 

This is another permanent residence visa for skilled workers and has the following requirements:

  1. You have to be nominated by an Australian employer. This employer must also be approved.
  2. You must be under the age of 50 years unless there are provisions for exemption.
  3. You must be proficient in English while meeting the qualifications and skill requirements. There may also be provisions for exemption.
  4. You must apply under the steam in which you were nominated.

Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa

This is a permanent residence visa for skilled migrant workers. The  requirements are as follows:

  1. This visa requires a nomination from an approved Australian employer which ensures a job with a certain specific region of Australia. 
  2. You must be younger than 50 years.
  3. You must be proficient in English as well as meet the qualifications and skills required. 
  4. You must apply under the stream in which you were nominated.

Subclass 188 – Business Innovation and Investment Visa (Provisional)

This is an entrepreneur visa for persons who want to start or run a business in Australia, or who want to invest in Australia. A nomination from a state or territory government or an Australian agency, as well as an invitation to apply from the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, are among the key requirements.On a concluding note, SkillSelect is a practical way to monitor the entry of workers into Australia. It is completely dependent on your skills and personality to get the visa. You will be allowed to operate freely in Australia either as a businessman or as a skilled worker. Be aware of your classification and requirements. Getting a nomination and invitation is not easy and if you miss your chance, it might take you a while to get another. So, try not to waste your nomination. You can find all the information you need on the upGrad Abroad website.

Time Limit to Apply after being Invited

After receiving an invitation, one must start making a visa application within 60 days. If one is unable to apply within this window, then the invitation will expire. One can be issued a maximum of 2 invitations before your application is removed from the EOI Skillselect system. However, there is no guarantee that you will get re-invited after getting invited once. In other words, you need to be prepared ahead of time to ensure you grab the opportunity that comes one’s way


Can EOI be rejected?

Yes, EOI can be rejected if the applicant’s score for the invitation is less than what was needed.

What happens after EOI is selected?

After getting shortlisted, you will be sent an invitation from DHA that stays active for 60 days to apply for the visa. It is important that the supporting documents are in place and the claims are verified and entered in the EOI if one cannot substantiate the claim, his visa is prone to cancellation. Only when your EOI gets selected can you apply for the visa.

What is the difference between 189 and 190 visas in skill select Australia?

189 stands for the Skilled Independent Visa and has no sponsorship requirement, whereas 190 stands for the Skilled Nominated Visa holder, and it must be “sponsored” by a state or territory.

How many EOI can I submit?

One can submit multiple EOIs for subclasses, such as 189, 190, and 491 visas.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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