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Character Assessment of Australian Sponsors of Partner Visa Applications
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Priority Group 3 GSM applicants invited to obtain health and character clearances now

The contents of this article are correct as at 18 February 2011.

In anticipation of priority group 2 General Skilled Migration (“GSM”) applications being finalised by the end of this financial year, DIAC has invited certain priority group 3 GSM applicants to obtain health and character clearances now.

This suggests that DIAC may be in a position to finalise certain eligible priority group 3 GSM applications before the end of this financial year (that is, by 30 June 2011).

Who is eligible?

Firstly, applicants need to have nominated an occupation that is on the Skilled Occupation List (“SOL”) Schedule 3.

In addition, applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

Either, they lodged one of the following visa subclasses between 15 January 2009 and 30 June 2010:

  • Skilled – Independent (Migrant) visa (subclass 175)
  • Skilled – Sponsored (Migrant) visa (subclass 176)
  • Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 475)

Or alternatively, they lodged one of the following visa subclasses between 6 November 2009 and 30 September 2010:

  • Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 487)
  • Skilled – Independent (Residence) visa (subclass 885)
  • Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) visa (subclass 886)


What about SOL Schedule 3 applicants who lodged prior to the dates listed above?

DIAC has indicated that SOL Schedule 3 applicants who applied prior to the dates listed above, should have been assigned a case officer by now. Applicants who believe that they fall within the criteria and who lodged prior to the above mentioned date ranges should contact DIAC, as their application may not have been assigned in error.


What about applicants who were reassessed by the Australian Computer Society, for an ICT skilled occupation within SOL Schedule 3?

DIAC has indicated that these GSM applicants will also be allocated a case officer, provided:

  • The application is a subclass 175, 176 or 475 and was lodged prior to 30 June 2010; or
  • The application is a subclass 885, 886 or 487 and was lodged prior to 30 September 2010.


What about other GSM applications?

Regrettably, DIAC has not released any processing timelines for GSM applications that do not come within the above categories.

In summary, eligible GSM applicants who complete health and character clearances at the present time, should be eligible for priority processing. However, it should be noted that the above invitation from DIAC does not constitute a guarantee that an eligible GSM application will in fact be processed quickly. Indeed, if there are significant delays in processing (eg more than 12 months), any health and character clearances completed at the present time, may need to be redone at the applicant’s expense.

If you have any questions concerning this article, please click this link to contact Visa Lawyers Australia .