Top 10 Mistakes of Skilled Migration Candidates

I want to remind you that in the financial year 2022-2023, we expect a significant increase in the number of places – permanent and provisional skilled visas. Moreover, there is big reason to assume that all states will be open for offshore applicants. 

I would like to analyze and share with you the most common mistakes of candidates and applicants of the most popular migration stream in Australia under skilled visas SC 189 / 190 / 491.

Read below to learn more about how to avoid mistakes when you are applying for an Australian skilled visa. Please pay attention, every single mistake has a very useful recommendation below.

Let’s go!

I have to say that within 12 years of migration practice I faced many interesting issues and cases. Sometimes there were such complicated cases that I have to solve quickly and correctly, fixing things that candidate created by themselves being on the pathway to a happy Australian future.

Unfortunately, many skilled candidates don’t know some details which are obvious to an experienced migration agent, but not obvious to a candidate. So, applicants can significantly slow down visa consideration, and even destroy their migration case.

I sincerely hope to help each of you to discover some secret tips from migration agents! 

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Complete skills assessment before the English exam

Many people believe that the international English exam is easy to pass with a good band. I personally know from my own experience that it takes some months to prepare and get the minimum band of 6666 IELTS even having rather good English.

However, for the current moment, you need a higher band, considering states’ requirements and results of invitation rounds. Please bear in mind it can take more than 2-3 times within a long preparation period to get at least 7777 IELTS band, or even longer if a higher band is necessary.

My advice: the very first thing to do is to pass successfully English exam. At the moment you have your IELTS (or other equivalents) certificate, feel free to get your skills assessment and then apply for EOI and visa with valid documents.

Underestimate English and skills assessment for partner/spouse

You have already known how to get more points using the English test and the qualifications of your partner/spouse. However, unfortunately, not everyone is ready to make an effort and collaborate for migration goal.

However, if your spouse/partner does not meet the English requirements, you will have to pay 4,890 AUD as compensation to cover this “gap”.

By the way, single applicants automatically receive additional points for their status.

My advice: please make an effort to learn English language together to make your migration case stronger and you settle the process faster because English level means a lot!

Incorrect calculation of points when submitting EOI

SkillSelect does not require you to verify any information you declare on your expression of interest (EOI) under skilled migration stream. You can claim the wrong points (usually higher than the real ones), intentionally or by accident. However, candidates must provide all valid documents proofing Point test results shortly since state sponsorship nomination or Department invitation is issued.

Two possible negative scenarios:

A) the candidate realizes there are not enough points, so he/she has to pass the opportunity and re-apply

B) the candidate lodges documents, pays the government fee, and … The Department will refuse a visa due to non-compliance with the requirements.

My advice: you should double-check your EOI as carefully as possible or cooperate with a migration agent who will start preparing your documents from the very beginning of your work together

Contact a migration agent when nomination or invitation from the State/Department has been received

This point is directly connected with the previous one.

Just imagine, the candidate claims points about himself and his qualifications, then he has been selected by the state/territory and received an invitation to apply for nomination.

Since this moment candidate has only 14 days to provide the entire package of supporting documents and a comprehensive submission letter. Obviously, for a beginner, it could be not really easy and very responsible task.

What does the candidate do? He assumes that, for sure, there is a migration agent somewhere who is just waiting to drop all the current flow of cases and jump into the urgent document preparation.

Let’s be honest, this approach is not good at all and takes an unreasonable amount of time. I don’t accept this kind of case for my professional service…

My advice: working with a migration agent from the very beginning of the migration process allows you to execute a smooth migration strategy, and prepare all forms, translations, and assessments right on time (for example, when the application window is going to open). With this approach, our clients get the best results without haste and stress.

Hoping for visa SC189 only

Please let me remind the followers who have joined us recently, that the subclass 189 visa is an independent skilled visa. This visa’s holder gets a permanent residence with all the benefits and opportunities to work and live in any location in Australia.

Significant disadvantages of visa 189:

  • strong competition,
  • the unpredictability of candidate selection.

You can wait for an invitation for a couple of years, and then a couple more years for processing to get a visa.

Or you can wait and get nothing at all …

My advice: of course, you can submit an EOI for visa 189 (especially if your score is 80 points or above). I also recommend you do not waste this waiting period and apply for a state nomination (190 and 491 visas) and start looking for an employer as well. If you are a really valuable specialist, one of these options will definitely work.

Start planning to migrate to Australia at 44 y.o. with basic English

Skilled migration under visas SC 189 / 190 / 491 is available for all candidates under the age of 44 inclusive. In this case, the candidate must be no older than 44 years old at the moment when the Department invitation is issued.

If a candidate has basic English, it also takes time to prepare for the exam. So, the chances to get an invitation before 45 are getting pretty slim…

My advice: if my 44-year-old client is not ready to pass the English exam with band 7777, or preferably 8888 IELTS quick enough, I recommend looking at other pathways to migrate to Australia: under DAMA program, changing the main applicant, or even organizing education for a child with the prospect of obtaining a parent visa.

Choosing the wrong location

Most applicants want to move to a big capital city like Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane. A developed infrastructure, a motherland community, and more chances to find a job with a good salary – this is the way how the candidates prove their choice. Of course, it is 100% true. But there is a dark side of it, including higher prices and serious visa applicants competition.

My advice: I always recommend my clients to consider states and regions, sometimes even provisional visas. Firstly, you will get + 15 points immediately because of applying for visa SC 491. Secondly, skilled occupation lists of states/territories are often extended, and the requirements for candidates are more flexible. Thirdly, you can always do labour market research in each state to choose the right one, where your occupation is in demand.

Lodging one EOI for all states/territories

When you apply for a state nomination, you have the opportunity to choose which state you consider for your migration. Moreover, you can select all states at the same time!

Please, do not do this! Because in this case you can wait for a nomination forever!

My advice: actually, this is just a technical point that not many people know about. There is no deep conceptual background, but if you want to send your EOI to different states, I strongly recommend you create applications for each state separately.

Choosing the wrong occupation for migration

Do you remember that there are some occupation lists? The basic SOL includes many very different occupations that could potentially be in demand in Australia.

The keyword is POTENTIALLY because not all of them are actually in demand. And, if you will choose a hopeless occupation, you could spend years and thousands of dollars for nothing.

My advice: each visa has its own occupation list (for example, STSOL and MTSOL), within which every state sets its own local lists. State lists include only those occupations that the state needs currently or in the short term. So, your final decision to start your skilled migration journey and your occupation choice should be based on these lists.

Plan to migrate NOT to the state where you are living

First of all, you have to remember that the requirements for onshore and offshore candidates applyied for a state nomination can be significantly different.

As I said, states prefer candidates who already working and living locally. In addition, in some states you will find a clear requirement for an onshore candidate – must be a resident for some months.

My advice: if you have already chosen a state for future migration in Australia, please do not waste time. Move and settle in a place where you are planning to apply. This will definitely give you an advantage for EOI considering.

You can ask me questions at anytime for free.

Just email me at and describe your migration issues!

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