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I am planning to apply for the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) Australian Visa over the next few years.

I have read about the process of applying for this visa on the Australian immigration website, where I have found that the process is basically as follows (correct me please if I am wrong here): the applicant must send an Expression of Interest in which he/she makes statements about several things, such as education, health and character aspects etc. EoI is done online, and has no cost apart from any cost that is from having the necessary documents translated. The applicant has to sum up everything here that he/she can be awarded points for, as described in the pointing table, and these statements must be supported by some sort of evidence. As a result of uploading everything related to EoI, the applicant's points can be calculated, and if he/she meets the point requirement, which is right now 60 points, he/she might be invited for application.

I guess the chance behind the word might differs based on the number of people applying for the same visa with the same nominated skilled occupation, but I am not sure about this, so please verify/correct me about this.

My main question is, after the EoI being revised by the authority, one might be invited to actually apply for the visa, which does have a cost, at the time of writing this, 3600 AUD. However, as I understand this, there still is no warranty of the application being accepted. So what chances does (if the occupation matters, a software developer holding an Bolognean System MSc degree) someone have of having his/her visa accepted? If it is refused, is the application cost lost?

Thanks

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Agreed that EOI does not cost, but to be eligible to apply the EOI, you first will have to get your qualification and work experience assessed from ACS (https://acs.org.au/) which costs A$ 500. You also will need to have proof of competent English (http://www.border.gov.au/Lega/Lega/Form/Immi-FAQs/how-can-i-prove-i-have-competent-english) and the tests for which (IELTS and PTE-A being popular choices among applicants) cost around A$ 200.

Only with a positive assessment and competent English can you file your EOI. It will result in an invitation depending on your occupation, and number or points. Once invited you have 60 days to pay up the A$ 3600 and apply for the visa.

There is never a warranty, but at least it is certain that you will get the visa if you followed the process correctly and claimed the right amount of points for your skills and English (according to your assessment and English results). The only factors that might lead to visa refusal are -[a] character failure (resulting from your police clearance requirements), [b] failure in the medical tests, or [c] over claimed points (i.e. you were not eligible for this points based skilled migration visa in the first place).

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