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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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.