The first round of skilled migrants who have been offered a formal invitation to apply for Australian visas under the government's new SkillSelect online service have been confirmed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).
Calling the news "an excellent result for the economy, employers and ultimately for Australia," a DIAC spokesperson revealed that the first round of the new program - which was launched on July 1 - was dominated by dentists, doctors, engineers and nurses.
According to the DIAC, more than 10,000 expressions of interest (EOIs) have been completed through the SkillSelect online service in the past two months.
"SkillSelect helps to ensure the skilled migration program is based on the economic needs of Australia," the spokesperson said. "It supports the government in managing who can apply for skilled migration, when they can apply and in what numbers."
In total, 90 invitations have been issued for skilled independent visas, as well as a further ten skilled regional family-sponsored visas.
An additional 400 skilled individuals have also been issued with invitations thanks to nominations from state and territory governments, the spokesperson noted, adding that 160 of these people have already lodged their visa application electronically.
"The others have 60 days to lodge their documents using DIAC's electronic lodgement system," the spokesperson explained.
Representatives from the DIAC also commented on the high quality of applicants, noting that the lowest points score invited in both the skilled family sponsored and skilled independent visas category was 75 - considerably higher than the current 60-point pass mark.
A points score between 75 and 85 across the two visa subclasses "demonstrates the quality of the skilled people interested in migrating to Australia and the benefits of selecting only the best," the department noted in an August 27 statement.
A number of significant changes have been made to Australia's migration system since the beginning of the new financial year - and if you are thinking about making an application for a skilled work visa or a skilled sponsored visa, you may find it beneficial to consult with an experienced migration lawyer.
An immigration lawyer can help you prepare your application so you have the best possible chance for success - and can also provide support for both applicants and employers throughout the entire process.