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New Processing Arrangements for General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas

The contents of this article are correct as at 30 July 2010.

On 16th July 2010, changes were announced to priority processing arrangements for some General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas (those GSM visas affected are listed at the bottom of this article). Priority processing refers to the order in which the department considers applications.

From 14 July 2010, processing priorities (with highest priority listed first) are:

  1. Applications from applicants who are employer sponsored under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).
  2. Applications from applicants who are nominated by a state or territory government agency with a nominated occupation that is specified on that state or territory’s state migration plan.
  3. Applications from applicants who have nominated an occupation on the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – Schedule 3 in effect from 1 July 2010.
  4. All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.

These priority processing arrangements apply to applications already lodged with DIAC (including those in the final stages of processing), as well as to future applications.

The time taken to process applications can change at any time. In addition, the length of time taken also depends on DIAC resources, how well-prepared the application is, whether internal security checks are needed, as well as any complications involved in the application.

At the present time, it is difficult to estimate how long individual GSM applications will take to process, although this should become apparent in coming weeks and months.

GSM visas affected

The following GSM visas are affected by priority processing:

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

Graduate – Skilled 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.

GSM visas exempt

The following visa subclasses are exempt from priority processing and will be processed in the order in which they are received:

Skilled – Recognised Graduate subclass 476

Skilled – Graduate subclass 485

Skilled – Designated Area – Sponsored (Residence) subclass 883

Skilled – Regional subclass 887.

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