As developments on the new SkillSelect program continue, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has delivered a new portal to provide additional information on how the program will operate.
The DIAC has made it clear that the site will not be accepting submissions until the program goes live on July 1, but until then it will provide a centralised point of reference for updates.
When the SkillSelect initiative is finally set live, individuals interested in skilled, family sponsored skilled, state or territory sponsored skilled or business skills visa programs can submit their details to the site as an expression of interest (EOI) in order to receive a ranking.
This score is based on a number of factors, including age, education, employment history and scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
To qualify for participation, individuals need to reach a score equal to or above 65 points on the criteria provided by the DIAC.
No fees are payable to the department at this stage, as the EOI is not considered to be the same as an actual visa application.
As such, the DIAC has indicated that it will not be issuing bridging visas to individuals who submit an expression of interest - only to those actually engaged in the process of gaining a visa.
Once accepted, an individual can have their details viewed by managers and business owners seeking to gain additional support for their workforce.
According to the site: "Employers will benefit from using SkillSelect as it will enable them to quickly and easily identify potential skilled workers with the essential skills and attributes needed.
"This will reduce overseas advertising and recruitment costs to businesses and assist in resolving skills shortages."
In addition, the site makes it clear that employers do not have to make use of the SkillSelect program and are free to explore their options in advertising overseas for potential candidates.
While lawyers in immigration will already be familiar with these points, both managers and international workers can benefit from the regular updates provided by the DIAC through this new portal.
Candidates will be kept in the SkillSelect database for a period of up to two years and can easily update their details should their situations change.
However, if an applicant does not choose to accept an invitation when selected by a potential employer two times in a row, they may be removed.