Including Dependents On Your Visa Application
The Australian Government has introduced far reaching changes to the definition of Member of the Family Unit (MoFU) for the purpose of most visa applications. There are now significant limitations on the class of persons that can be considered part of MoFU and hence be included in a visa application.
Character Assessment of Australian Sponsors of Partner Visa Applications
From 18 November 2016, Australian citizen and permanent resident Sponsors of Partner Visa and Prospective Marriage Visa applications (“a partner visa”), are subject to character testing. In line with current Australian Government strategies to reduce family violence in the Australian community, the new provisions have been introduced to prevent Australians who have committed a relevant offence from being able to sponsor someone for a partner visa.
VIEW ALL NEWS ARTICLES >
 
Substantial changes to the general skilled migration program announced
 

The contents of this article are correct as at 22 December 2009

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship announced changes to the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program on 8 February 2010.

Some of these changes will affect current and future candidates.

We will be updating our website as the law and policy affecting these changes is made available.

Some of the main changes are addressed below:

(1)      Changes in Priority Processing:

The Minister has set new priority processing arrangements for certain skilled migration visas. This means that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will consider and finalise visa applications in a specific order of priority.

The following GSM visas are going to be affected by this:

  • Skill Matching (subclass 134)
  • Skilled—Independent (subclass 136)
  • Skilled—State/Territory-nominated Independent (subclass 137)
  • Skilled—Australian-sponsored (subclass 138)
  • Skilled—Designated Area-sponsored (subclass 139)
  • Skilled—Independent (subclass 175)
  • Skilled—Independent (subclass 176)
  • Skilled—Regional Sponsored (subclass 475)
  • Skilled—Regional Sponsored (subclass 487)
  • Skilled—Independent Regional (subclass 495)
  • Skilled—Designated Area-sponsored (Provisional) (subclass 496)
  • Skilled—Graduate (subclass 497)
  • Skilled—Onshore Independent New Zealand Citizen (subclass 861)
  • Skilled—Onshore Australian-sponsored New Zealand Citizen (subclass 862)
  • Skilled—Onshore Designated Area-sponsored New Zealand Citizen (subclass 863)
  • Skilled—Independent Overseas Student (subclass 880)
  • Skilled—Australian-sponsored (subclass 881)
  • Skilled—Designated Area-sponsored Overseas Student (subclass 882)
  • Skilled—Independent (subclass 885)
  • Skilled—Sponsored (subclass 886).

Accordingly, the processing priorities are as follows (with highest priority listed first):

i)    Applications from people who are employer sponsored under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).

 

ii)   Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency under a state migration plan agreed to by the minister.

 

iii)  Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency and whose nominated occupation is on the Critical Skills List (CSL).

iv)  Applications from people who are neither nominated nor sponsored in priority groups 1, 2 or 3, but whose nominated occupation is listed on the CSL.

 

v)   Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL.

vi)  Applications from people whose occupations are listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL).

 

vii) Applications from people who are sponsored by family and whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL.

 

viii) All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.

 

The following visa subclasses are NOT going to be affected by this:

  • Skilled—Recognised Graduate (subclass 476)
  • Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485)
  • Skilled—Designated Area—Sponsored (Residence) (subclass 883)
  • Skilled—Regional (subclass 887).

The applications for these visa subclasses will be processed in the order in which they are received.

2.      Revoking the Critical Skills List

The Critical Skills List (CSL) will be revoked when the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) comes into place in mid- 2010. However, if your nominated occupation is currently on the CSL, priority processing arrangements will continue until they are reviewed in mid-2010.

3.      Changes to the General Skilled Migration Program (MODL)

MODL will be revoked and the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) will be replaced in the second half of 2010, with a new list.

There will be no new MODL.

These changes will affect the following:

Groups affected by the GSM changes

Revocation of the MODL from 8 February 2010

New SOL in effect from mid-2010

Current applicants

No

No

Subclass 485 visa applicants and holders as at 8 February 2010 yet to apply for a permanent or provisional GSM visa

No, provided they apply for a permanent or provisional GSM visa by 31 December 2012

No, provided they apply for a permanent or provisional GSM visa by 31 December 2012

Higher Education, Postgraduate Education and VET sector student visa holders as at 8 February 2010

Yes

Yes, unless they apply for a Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485) visa prior to 31 December 2012.

People who are considering applying for a GSM visa

Yes

Yes

 

4.     Changes to the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

The new SOL is expected to be announced by 30 April 2010 and take effect from mid-2010.

The new SOL will apply to all new GSM applicants from mid-2010.

If you lodge your application for a subclass 485 visa before the new SOL starts in mid-2010 your application will not be affected.

The new SOL will also not apply to those who on 8 February 2010:

  • Hold a subclass 485 visa; or
  • Have a pending subclass 485 visa application and have not yet lodged an application for a provisional or permanent GSM visa and who make an application by 31 December 2012; or
  • Have a pending GSM visa application.

For subclass 485 visa applications made after the new SOL starts in mid 2010 the new SOL will apply

However, for subclass 485 visa applications made after the new SOL starts in mid 2010 the new SOL will not apply if the applicant held a student visa on 8 February 2010 in any of the following subclasses:

  • Vocational Education and Training Sector (subclass 572)
  • Higher Education Sector (subclass 573)
  • Postgraduate Research Sector (subclass 574).

 

5.    Changes to offshore General Skilled Migration visa applications received before 1 September 2007

There is a cap placed on the number of offshore GSM visa applications (that is subclasses 136, 137, 138) made before 1 September 2007 that can be granted. Once this number is reached, any applications awaiting a decision will not be considered and the application returned.

Applicants can apply again for any of the current GSM visa subclasses. However, they will need to meet the current legislative requirements.

This is only for offshore visa applications.

 

6.      General Skilled Migration (GSM) Points Test Review

The GSM Points Test will be reviewed in the first half of 2010.

If you have any questions concerning the above changes, please click the link to contact Visa Lawyers Australia Pty Ltd.