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What are the current processing priorities for skilled migration visa applications in Australia?

Australia has prioritised both permanent and temporary work visas during the pandemic period to assist in its economic recovery. All skilled visa processing priorities are determined by the current government policy and outlined in the various Ministerial Directions.

Currently this relates to the following visas:​

  • Subclass 124 (Distinguished Talent)
  • Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme)
  • Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme)
  • Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment)
  • Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) (Points-tested Stream)
  • Subclass 190 (Skilled – Nominated)
  • Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 494 (Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 858 (Global Talent)

The order of priority for the visas to be processed is:

  1. Any of the following: 
    • Employer Sponsored or Regional Sponsored where the nominated occupation is specified in the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
    • Employer Sponsored or Regional Sponsored where the nominated occupation is an Agriculture Sector Occupation
    • The applicant is nominated by an employer under a Global Talent Employer Sponsored Agreement
    • All applications identified through the Global Talent Program
    • Applications for the Subclass 188 visa in the following order:
      – Subclass 188 visa applications in the Significant Investor stream
      – All other Subclass 188 visa applications.
  2. Occupations within a Critical Sector which are located here
  3. Employer Sponsored or Regional Sponsored by an employer who is a party to a labour agreement under a Designated Area Migration Agreement
  4. Subclass 494 (Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)), ​where the applicant is nominated by an approved sponsor with Accredited Status or nominated by a labour agreement not mentioned in priority (1)
  5. Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional))
  6. Employer Sponsored, where the applicant is nominated by an approved sponsor with Accredited Status, or nominated by a party to a labour agreement not mentioned in priority (1) or (2) above 
  7. Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme), where the applicant is nominated by an approved sponsor with Accredited Status
  8. Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional)) 
  9. Subclass 190 (Skilled – Nominated)
  10. Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) in the Points-tested stream 
  11. All other visa applications that are subject to this Direction.

Priority will be given to holders of eligible passports who are in Australia over those offshore for categories 1 to 6.

Priority will be given to applications made by other passport holders who are onshore for categories 3 to 7.

Processing priorities for skilled temporary visa applications

Currently this relates to the following visas:​

  • Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage)
  • Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)).

The order of priority for the visas to be processed is

  1. Any of the following: 
    • Nominated occupations specified in the PMSOL
    • Nominations lodged in relation to a Global Talent Employer Sponsored Agreement
    • Nominations lodged in relation to an Agricultural Sector Occupation.
  2. Nominations lodged for an occupation in a Critical Sector not mentioned in (1)
  3. Any of the following:
    • Occupations in regional Australia, where applicants are nominated under a Designated Area Migration Agreement
    • applicants who are nominated by approved sponsors with Accredited Status
    • applicants who seek to satisfy the criteria for grant in the Labour Agreement stream of the Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa program not mentioned in (1).
  4. Applicants who are nominated by approved sponsors with Accredited Status not mentioned in priority (1) or (2) above 
  5. Nominations lodged by a Party to a Labour Agreement not mentioned in priority (1), (2) or (3) above
  6. All other nominations lodged under the Subclass 482​ (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa program, including Subclass 457​ (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa applications. 

Priority will be given to holders of eligible passports who are in Australia over those offshore for categories 1 to 6.

Priority will be given to applications made by other passport holders who are onshore for categories 3 to 6

Processing priorities for other skilled visa applications

All other skilled visa applications are assessed in order of date of lodgement.

How can we help?

At FC Lawyers we have assisted many applicants and businesses during the pandemic to ensure their skilled visas have been secured.

Whilst this is the current situation there is no doubt it will change in the future.

Contact our expert team of accredited specialists to discuss your needs and obtain an assessment of your situation to secure a visa.

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