IMPORTANT NOTICE Changes to Priority Processing – 8 February 2010 Direction No. 45 - Order of consideration - certain skilled migration visas The Migration Act 1958 contains powers by which the Minister can consider and finalise visa applications in an order of priority that the Minister considers appropriate. Departmental officers are required to follow this Ministerial direction, which applies to every stage of visa processing. The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, has set new processing priorities for certain skilled migration visa applications. The direction came into effect on 8 February 2010 and applies to new applications lodged on or after 8 February 2010, and those already lodged or in the final stages of processing, and replaces the previous Priority Processing Direction (No. 42) which commenced on 23 September 2009. The new priority processing arrangements apply to the following visa programs: · The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) · The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) · General Skilled Migration (GSM). The following GSM visa subclasses are exempt from the priority processing provisions specified in Direction 45: · Skilled – Recognised Graduate Subclass 476 · Skilled – Graduate Subclass 485 · Skilled – Designated Area – Sponsored (Residence) Subclass 883 · Skilled – Regional Subclass 887. Applications for these visa subclasses will be processed in the order in which they are received. The following GSM applications are exempt from Direction 45 · applications that have been remitted by the Migration Review Tribunal for reconsideration; · applications where it is readily apparent that the criteria for grant of the visa would not be satisfied; · applications by members of the family unit of a person who holds a temporary or provisional GSM visa (subsequent entrant applications). · visa applications for a Skilled – Regional Sponsored Subclass 487 visa where the applicant holds a Skilled – Independent Regional (Provisional) Subclass 495 visa, Skilled – Designated Area-sponsored (Provisional) Subclass 496 visa, Skilled – Regional Sponsored Subclass 487 visa or Skilled – Regional Sponsored Subclass 475 visa at the time they apply. The Skilled Migration visa processing priorities Under the Ministerial Direction, the following processing priorities (with highest priority listed first) apply: 1. Applications from people who are employer sponsored under the ENS and the RSMS. 2. Applications from people who are nominated by a State/Territory government agency under a State Migration Plan agreed to by the Minister. 3. Applications from people who are nominated by a State/Territory government agency and whose nominated occupation is on the Critical Skills List (CSL). 4. Applications from people who are neither nominated nor sponsored under Priority Groups 1,2 or 3 but whose nominated occupation is listed on the CSL. 5. Applications from people who are nominated by a State/Territory government agency whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL 6. (i) Applications from people whose occupations are listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL); as well as (ii) Applications from people who are sponsored by family and whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL. 7. All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received. The complete list of occupations on the CSL is available on the department’s website: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/critical-skills-list.pdf Application Processing Times – GSM Applications Information on application processing times is published on the department’s website at Client Service Charter If your application is in any of priority groups 2, 3 or 4, it is estimated that your visa application will be finalised within 12 months of your lodgement date. Please note that processing times can be affected by circumstances beyond the department’s control. If your application is in any of priority groups 5, 6 or 7 and you have applied for an offshore GSM visa or intend to apply for an offshore GSM visa, it is unlikely that your application will be finalised within 3 years of the date of the application. If your application is in any of priority groups 5, 6 or 7 and you applied for an onshore GSM visa or intend to apply for an onshore GSM visa, it is unlikely that your application will be finalised within 2 years of the date of the application. Please note that your nominated occupation is the occupation you nominated at the time you lodged your application and cannot be changed. Application processing times are indicative only and are based on the current visa application rate, the current Priority Processing Direction, and the availability of places in the Migration Program. Processing priorities are subject to change. Any changes to these priorities or processing times will be updated on the Department’s website at: What's New? Recent Changes in General Skilled Migration Priority Processing Exemptions Visa Subclasses 476, 485 and 887 are exempt from the priority processing changes. Applications under these subclasses will continue to be processed in the order in which they were received by the Department. Other Processing News CHANGES TO THE SKILLED MIGRATION PROGRAM In addition to the new Priority Processing Direction the Minister has announced other changes to the GSM Program. Information about these changes has been published on the Department’s website at: What's New? Recent Changes in General Skilled Migration *If your application is not currently a priority under the Direction, you should expect significant delays before your application is allocated to a case officer. To find out the expected timeframe for processing your application, please refer to the department’s website at What's New? Recent Changes in General Skilled Migration. Nominated occupation of Accountant If your nominiated occupation is Accountant please advise us if you have Proficient English (7 or more in each band of your IELTS results) as you meet CSL requirments and your application will receive a higher priority of processing. Allocation Dates for week commencing 10 May 2010 VB - 886- State Sponsored (CSL) Applications lodged up to 14 February 2010 VB - 885 (CSL Only) Applications lodged up to 14 February 2010 VB - 487 - (CSL) Applications lodged up to 07 February 2010 VB - 887 Applications lodged up to 3 May 2010 VC- 485 Applications lodged up to 24 August 2009 * Please note that whilst your case may have been allocated to a case officer, assessment may not commence for up to 10 working days. OTHER PROCESSING NEWS Are you a Computing Professional with Specialisation? If you have a skills assessment from Australian Computing Society that states your nominated occupation as "Computing Professional (ICT Recent Graduate)" this does not place you on the CSL and you are therefore not eligible for priority processing at this time. Do you have IELTS 7's? IELTS 7 scores are relevant to Accountants only. If you have nominated an occupation other than Accountant and you have achieved IELTS 7's this does not qualify you for priority processing on the Critical Skills List. If you are an Accountant with IELT's 7's then you are eligible for priority processing under the Critical Skills List. If you are an Accountant with IELTS 7s we’d like to hear from you to ensure we don’t miss your application in the weekly allocations.