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Australian Occupation and Skills in Demand List to be overhauled

The Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) is going to be overhauled whilst the Critical Skills List (CSL) will be phased out completely.The Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) is going to be overhauled whilst the Critical Skills List (CSL) will be phased out completely.

The Australian Department of Immigration is near to concluding its review of the MODL. As part of their review, the department will examine and report on the role and purpose of the MODL in targeting skill needs in relation to the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program, to complement the supply of tertiary qualified Australians.

It’s hoped that the review will enable DIMIA to use the MODL as a more strategic tool ensuring that skilled migration is better aimed at responding to future skill needs which cannot be addressed through domestic training and skills development.

The arrangements for the transition to the new MODL will be determined once the outcomes of the review are finalised.

It should be noted that the changes to the MODL will not affect the ability of Australian industry to meet its skill needs through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).

The Critical Skills List will also remain in place while the review is in progress.

Occupations which are listed on the CSL receive priority processing will continue until the review is finalised; however it will then be phased out following the implementation of any recommendations flowing from the review.

So far the Australian Immigration authority has issued two papers which complement these reviews; both of these papers are available via the links below:

MODL issues paper 1

MODL issues paper 2

The more recent of the two ‘issues paper’ shows that the Australian Government is considering three potential options with the Futures Skills List:

1) No Future Skills List in the GSM process
2) Future Skills List as component of GSM Points Test or
3) The Future Skills List replaces the CSL as a prioritisation mechanism.

The review also gives a limited indication of how the changes will be introduced.

“All three options for integrating a new Future Skills List with the GSM assessment process require complementary changes to the Points Test,” the second issues paper states.

“A sensible transition period would need to be established to ensure a smooth administrative implementation and to provide potential applicants with adequate notice of changes to the eligibility requirements. “ <- That’s a refreshing change!

“It would also be sensible to look to align any changes to MODL with Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s plan to transition from using Australian Standard Classification of Occupations to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification on Occupations as a basis for the Skilled Occupations List in the first half of 2010.”

Many Aussie Migration agents state that it could be assumed that all the changes to the Australian General Skilled Migration program previously anticipated will still be made, and that the Government is hoping to launch all the changes as part of one, unified overhaul to the Australian migration program in early 2010.

Either way, if your thinking about lodging your Australian visa application, I’d probably lodge it sooner rather than later.

What are your thoughts? Have something to say?

Post a comment below or visit the associated thread in our forums here:

Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia.
Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assitance, Getting Down Under.

If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Forums

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  1. The whole immigration process is CRAP!! WHY

    1. Priority processing applies to ENS – but with the SALARY cap that does not make sense- if an emplloyer hires an IT Manager the minimum wage theyhave to pay them is 45,220, But for IT professionals like business analysts or programmers or IT prof’s NEC(not classified elsewhere) they have to pay a minimum wage of 61,920 – Bloody joke is’nt this!!!

    Immigration knows that most immigrants DO NOT APPLY FOR IT MANAGER jobs but goes for the other’s- well if they do not want migrants they should put a sign saying “NO MORE MIGRANTS – WE ARE CLOSED”

    Well as for lordfair’s comments – I agree if you feel you are falling to the categgories 4,5,6,7 forget about it now – BUT what about the people who applied (I applied as a recent graduate in 2008 AUG) before this whole circus!!!

    They have just doomed us!! WHAT the immigration should have done is for applicants who applied before their policy/priority change – classify applicants who had got jobs in their relavant field of study (irrespective of the occupation being/not being on the critical/MODL list) and provide them the PR

    I think this would be fair them shuffeling them to the end of the bloody queue!!

    We cannot get a refund now but left with no other choices than to wait till the day comes whenever they start to process our applications.

  2. Hi all
    There’s a GOOD news for u

    Finally some news of hope for all those affected by the September 23 changes to priority processing of Australian visas.

    Members of the forum Poms in Oz met with David Wilden, the Minister-Counsellor for Immigration of the Australian High Commission in London to outline their fears and voice opinions of all those affected by the changes.

    The September 23 changes meant that those applying for state sponsored visas, including those already in the process, were told that they no longer qualified for priority processing and may have to wait a further three to four years for their visas to be finalised.

    Many visa applicants were furious as a large number of them had paid thousands of pounds, been allocated case officers and sold their houses in anticipation of receiving their visas within months
    Five representatives from Poms in Oz were finally granted an audience with Mr Wilden after a protest was planned outside the Australian High Commission.

    Mr Wilden told the five that all applications from Categories 1 to 4 were now under control. For Category 5 applicants, he estimated that there were around 3,500 applications where the occupation was not on the Critical Skills List (CSL) but who had received state sponsorship. These applications, he assured the five, were now beginning to be processed.

    The applications would be processed in order of the dates they were lodged. A first come, first served basis.

    Mr Wilder said that the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) would not say how long the processing would take, as applications which come under the CSL would still have to be processed as a priority, but it is thought that applicants will not now have to wait as long as previously thought.

    No doubt the government are trying to smooth over the bad press it has received both in Australia and the UK over the controversial changes in which applicants were also told that no refunds would be issued should they withdraw their applications.

    The news, whilst not offering anything definite, does seem to hold a glimmer of hope for state sponsorship applicants. Potential migrants to Australia are now hoping for more good news when the DIAC reveals the new Future Skills List later this month.

    13 November 2009
    Submission on
    General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program
    As the peak professional organisation representing Registered Migration Agents in Australia,
    the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) is in a unique position to see the ramifications of
    these General Skilled Migration (GSM) processing procedures for:
    – applicants and registered migration agents;
    – for perceptions of Australia and the Australian Government; and
    – Australian society.
    The GSM program is the largest single Australian migration program but it is no longer
    meeting skilled labour demands efficiently. Approximately half of all primary applicants are
    international students with little or no skilled work experience. Some 80% of applications
    specify Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) occupations but tend to be mainly
    accountants, cooks and hairdressers ignoring the full spectrum of more than 100 MODL
    The ineffectiveness of the GSM program to meet Australia’s skills shortages has resulted in
    the introduction of a priority processing regime. Initially, priority was given to applications
    with State/Territory government sponsorship and then to applications with nominations on a
    new Critical Skills List (CSL).
    There are far more applications for General Skilled Migration already in the pipeline than can
    be granted each year. As of October 2009 there were over 130,000 applicants in the system
    but a total annual program size of 65,000 places.
    The GSM processing backlog will continue to grow if no action is taken. In 2008-09, more
    than 320,000 student visas were granted1 representing a 15% increase on the previous
    year’s intake. International students can usually apply for GSM on completion of two years
    study in Australia. This legitimate pathway, combined with the relative ease of onshore
    applications and permission to stay in Australia on bridging visas during processing, has
    been used to induce international students to study in Australia. Education is now Australia’s
    third largest export earner.
    The lack of acknowledgement of the link between education and migration has been of
    concern to the MIA for some time. We raised this issue in our submission to the 2006 Birrell
    Report on Skilled Migration. Three years later, the Department of Immigration is facing public
    criticism as a result of inaction despite the warnings.
    1“Offshore and Onshore Grants for 2008-09 (PY) including eVisa grants, excluding permission to
    Work (PTW) and Change of Provider (COP) Grants”, Department of Immigration and Citizenship,
    (accessed 13 November 2009)
    The Problem
    Processing priority for General Skilled Migration applications is in danger of being a bandaid
    solution to systemic problems in the program. When the Minister announced changes to
    processing priorities in September 2009, there was a warning that non-CSL applications
    would not be processed before 20112. This ignores the impact on many non-CSL applicants
    who have been in the system for 18 months or more when the announcement was made.
    Such bandaid solutions have unintended consequences. The MIA has grave concerns about
    the consequences of the processing priorities as they have been implemented. A vast
    number of applicants will be waiting for perhaps several years in a state of uncertainty about
    their future. It appears GSM program settings have been changed to one of administrative
    delay in the hope that the problem (too many applicants for too few places) will give up and
    It is reasonable for potential applicants to have taken the Department’s published service
    standards for processing times into consideration when deciding whether to apply. These
    applicants have paid the visa application charge (VAC) and associated costs of up to $1100
    on skills assessments, language testing, police and health checks. Until the priority
    processing regime came into force, these people had a reasonably clear indication of the
    time it might take to have their applications processed and of prospects of their success.
    Many GSM applicants, whose applications were about to be processed after already being in
    the pipeline for a considerable amount of time, have been requested by case officers to
    undergo further police and health checks, as previous ones had expired. Even as these
    further checks were being conducted, the processing of many of these applications was
    suddenly stopped following the Ministerial direction. [See Attachment 1 for examples.]
    This has caused many GSM applicants further expense and great uncertainty. Those not on
    the new priority processing lists will have the expense of further health and police checks,
    English language tests, or renewal of skills assessments when their applications are
    eventually finalised. These additional expenses are an unfair burden on applicants when it is
    not the applicant’s fault for extreme delays in the processing system which has led to their
    initial checks expiring.
    Of particular concern are onshore applicants who are recent graduates of Australian
    educational institutions. These individuals have taken the opportunity provided by the
    Australian Government to avail themselves of the GSM pathway to permanent residence in
    Australia. While that particular pathway does not guarantee permanent residence, it does,
    nevertheless, present a valid opportunity to seek permanent residence. While technically the
    Student Visa Program and the GSM Program are separate programs, to claim that they are
    distinct is spurious and disingenuous. It is well established that the study pathway to GSM is
    specifically designed for overseas students in Australia.
    2 “Updated Priority Processing Effective from 23 September 2009” Department of Immigration and
    (accessed 13 November 2009).
    Government policy about that pathway was quite clear:
    “From 1 July 2001, successful Australian-educated overseas students with ICT and other
    qualifications in high demand will be allowed to apply for, and be granted, permanent
    residence under the Skilled-Independent and Skilled-Australian Sponsored categories
    without leaving Australia. This initiative builds upon previous measures designed to
    retain successful overseas students with qualifications that are in shortage in Australia
    and who are sponsored by Australian employers, including waiving work experience
    requirements for those who have obtained Australian qualifications in the six months prior to
    lodging their visa applications and giving bonus points to applicants with Australian
    qualifications.” [Announcement of policy, Ministerial media release, 29 January 2001]
    If that pathway inadvertently encouraged a huge number of GSM applications (not to
    mention a growth industry in poor or misleading migration advice and scandalously
    inadequate “education” institutions), that is not the fault of GSM applicants. The fault lies with
    those who had the power to monitor and correct the situation and failed to do so.
    Australian governments have allowed a situation to arise where there are more applications
    than can be accommodated or processed. As a result it has implemented a priority
    processing regime that is particularly unfair in dealing with a problem that is not the fault of
    current applicants. It is also a most inefficient method of dealing with Australia’s skills
    The current priority processing regime creates numerous serious problems:
    1. Employability on Bridging Visas
    Although onshore applicants are generally on Bridging Visas with permission to work, they
    often have great difficulty in obtaining work as many Australian employers prefer their
    employees to hold, or to be certain of gaining, permanent residence. If a GSM application
    were to be refused, the applicant would need to leave Australia within 28 days, and an
    employer would lose an employee. Consequently, international students are in a very
    vulnerable position, and may be tempted to take any employment available, even if the
    conditions are not favourable.
    2. Interruption and damage to careers.
    If GSM applicants are in Australia and unable to obtain work in their nominated occupation,
    they are likely to find employment difficult when they are eventually granted permanent
    residence, as they may not have been able to maintain their expertise or keep abreast of
    new developments in their chosen occupation. A substantial gap between graduation and
    the start of a career, as many GSM applicants will experience, could complicate or destroy a
    potential career, and makes a mockery of the GSM program.
    3. Damage to Australia’s social fabric
    Having a very large number of people on Bridging visas for several years, unable to obtain
    satisfying work or advance their careers, is a recipe for frustration and resentment at best,
    and social unrest at worst. This is a disgraceful initiation into Australian life for potential
    Australian permanent residents or citizens. It also flies in the face of ideals and values that
    are espoused by the Australian government, and which once made Australia an attractive
    choice for potential migrants.
    4. Damage to Australia’s reputation
    Thousands of people, who in good faith paid visa application charges with the quite
    reasonable expectation that the applications would be finalised within published service
    standard times, will be waiting indefinite lengths of time for a decision to be made about their
    GSM visa applications. These people are not being treated with dignity, compassion, and
    fairness. .Australia’s reputation as the country of opportunity, where governments act
    reasonably and fairly, has been considerably tarnished.
    To draw an analogy, if Registered Migration Agents accepted fees from clients and then
    made unilateral decisions to not provide the services until some unspecified time in the
    future there would be a public outcry led by an outraged DIAC and the Office of the MARA.
    5. Australia’s skills shortages not being met – loss of quality applicants
    (a) Australia is being denied the immediate benefit of young people with excellent skills
    which Australia needs. Many current and potential highly skilled and genuine applicants will
    justifiably see the current priority processing regime as grossly unfair and forego the
    opportunity to become permanent residents.
    When faced with a delay of two to three years in the processing of their application, why
    would quality applicants persist with their applications for migration to Australia when they
    have other migration options or good employment prospects in their home country?
    (b) Currently, of the occupations on the CSL that require a bachelor degree, only
    accountants, teachers, nurses and engineers are realistic options for international students.
    Are these the only skills Australia now requires?
    6. Lives and plans damaged
    Thousands of currently enrolled overseas students who are paying large fees to Australian
    education providers and who intend to use the perfectly legitimate and government designed
    pathway to permanent residence have had their plans derailed.
    7. Splitting Families
    (a) It is common for students to get married after completion of their qualifications in
    Australia. In this case, it is generally not possible to include the new spouse in a GSM
    application after lodgement. As the wait for permanent residence can be two years or more,
    GSM applicants may be unable to sponsor their spouse to join them in Australia for a
    significant period of time.
    (b) In some cases the extremely long delays in processing times will mean that an
    applicant’s child, who was a dependent child when the application was lodged, will no longer
    be dependent when the application is finally processed and will therefore not be able to
    migrate with the parents. This is a shameful result of the priority processing regime.
    8. Clear advice about Australia’s GSM program is impossible
    Registered Migration Agents are unable to provide any certain advice to clients who are
    current or prospective GSM applicants. While the Australian Government has the right to
    make changes at any time, and responsible migration agents have always informed clients
    of this, the current radical and retrospective changes are beyond what is reasonable and
    make sensible advice impossible.
    9. Distortion of Education and Migration Program
    Attempting to “cherry pick” GSM applicants seems to have unintended consequences. This
    occurred a few years ago when Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
    occupations were removed from the MODL and Accountants were retained. The ICT
    students who stuck their ground came out with 115 points and walked the path of capital
    investment – only to be thwarted there. Their colleagues who abandoned ICT for accounting
    now have Australian citizenship whether they chose to work as an accountant or not.
    The priority processing regime will also encourage international students into an even
    narrower band of occupations than the MODL did. The only occupation on the CSL that can
    be done in two years via a conversion course based on an unrelated undergraduate degree
    is Accounting.
    Under the current priority processing regime ICT students know they will be waiting for at
    least two years if they apply for GSM. ICT professionals currently studying in Australia will
    look at the CSL and hear success stories of prioritised Accountants with IELTS 7 who get
    PR in two weeks. They will in all likelihood transfer to accounting courses.
    Should students choose to take these options, which are not necessarily in their or
    Australia’s best interest, it is not necessarily because they are being advised to do so. Most
    of these students are knowledgeable enough to work things out for themselves, and to take
    whatever legitimate pathways they can find to a permanent life in Australia – as many of us,
    or some of our forebears, did.
    10. Unacceptable and unfair additional costs
    Most GSM applicants, whether CSL or not, must complete health and police checks and
    English language tests prior to the lodgement of their application. Many of these checks and
    test results will certainly expire well before processing of the applications has even
    Many applicants who have been requested to complete medicals by the Department of
    Immigration have now been informed that their applications have been put on hold. This is
    because their applications were state nominated (previously the highest level of priority) and
    are now lower down in the new priority list. These applicants, whose applications have been
    99% finalised, will now most likely need to do their medicals all over again.
    Medicals are not cheap – the cost is generally about $300 per family member. English
    language tests are similarly priced.
    Many applicants may have skills assessments or State or Territory sponsorships repeated or
    renewed at significant extra expense – if they are still eligible.
    11. Overseas Travel problems
    The bridging visa issued to students does not have travel rights – if the students with GSM
    applications lodged depart Australia, they risk refusal of their application. It is possible to
    apply for a Bridging visa allowing travel, but this involves extra cost and evidence of the
    reason for travel. The maximum period of travel is in general three months. Even though the
    Department is not actively processing their applications, and employment prospects in
    Australia can be bleak, students are effectively forced to stay in Australia to await grant of
    their visas.
    12. Lodgement of Frivolous Applications
    The long processing times may result in lodgement of more frivolous applications which
    have no chance of success. This is because onshore applicants can remain in Australia on
    bridging visas with full work rights during processing of their applications – no matter how
    long this takes. If their application is refused, they may then appeal to the Migration Review
    Tribunal (now taking 12 months or more), the Federal Court or the Minister. By the time the
    appeal process is complete, the applicant may have been in Australia for 5 years or more
    with work rights.
    We are already seeing increased numbers of GSM applications at the Migration Review
    Tribunal. International students may also be victims of unscrupulous operators who may
    knowingly lodge applications with no chance of success – as processing times are so long it
    may be many years before they experience any fallout from their dodgy practices.
    13. Loss of “Safety Net” for 457 holders
    People who are sponsored for 457 visas by their employers are restricted to working only for
    their sponsoring employer. Such people are already employed in Australia and in many
    cases have sufficient points to qualify for General Skilled Migration.
    Whilst the employer can sponsor for permanent residence through the ENS program, the
    GSM program has always been a “safety net” for 457 holders. Many employers are reluctant
    to sponsor for ENS as it means that the employee is no longer “tied” to the employer. GSM
    was a way of qualifying for permanent residence even if not supported by an employer.
    Many 457 holders who have lodged GSM applications also face unreasonable processing
    delays which means that they are forced to stay with employers longer, even if the
    employment conditions are not favourable.
    14. Risk of Further Retrospective Changes
    The Minister has indicated that the GSM program will be undergo further review. It is entirely
    possible that changes could be retrospective and continue to affect people whose
    applications have already been lodged. For instance, if the Points Test pass marks are
    increased, this would affect all people whose applications have not yet been assessed.
    Given the huge number of applications in the system already, any retrospective changes
    could result in further significant hardship and inequity for many people.
    The MIA makes the following recommendations:
    1. Deal fairly and transparently with the applicants in the GSM pipeline.
    2. Automatically place all GSM applicants on a skill matching database to enhance the
    possibility of their obtaining employment, and perhaps gaining employer sponsorship, thus
    giving them the opportunity of getting out of the GSM limbo.
    3. Undertake a thorough review of the GSM program – clarify the objectives and ensure the
    settings reflect these and are relatively consistent over time.
    4. Further changes to the GSM Program should be made after genuine consultation with all
    stakeholders, including the Migration Institute of Australia. Any changes should be clearly
    explained and made with fairness as a criterion.
    5. Exemption from priority processing should be given immediately to those applications
    which were about to be finalised and for which further health and police checks had been
    6. If the priority processing regime is to be continued, there should be a parallel processing
    regime for longstanding applications. This should begin with identifying outstanding GSM
    applications that were allocated case officers before priority processing was introduced.
    7. Introduce a more rigorous skills assessing regime to eliminate any applicants in the GSM
    application pipeline who have no intention of pursuing their nominated occupation.
    8. Refunds should be available for GSM applicants who wish to withdraw their applications
    rather than remain uncertain of their future for an indefinite period of time.
    9. DIAC should regularly publish up-to-date statistics about the number of applications in the
    GSM pipeline and estimated processing times for applications. This would not only be a
    reasonable measure to provide current and prospective applicants, but may also reduce the
    number of GSM applications.
    10. Provide greater funding and resources to the Adelaide Skilled Processing Centre should
    be provided so that applications can be processed faster. The object is to allow only the
    queuing in the pipeline of worthwhile applications. Instead of “parking” applications until
    allocation to a case officer for decision after a number of years, all applications could be
    instead immediately vetted to determine if the application is likely to be successful and to
    identify other characteristics.
    a) Improperly documented or otherwise obviously flawed applications could be immediately
    eliminated, reducing the pipeline content dramatically.
    b) The application pipeline content could be effectively indexed by the following, thereby
    permitting rapid clearance from the pipeline:
    i) Present Deployment
    Consider a permanent residence application in a specified period of time if an applicant is
    currently in Australia, working (with a local or overseas work history of over 12 months) in
    the claimed occupation and now holding a temporary visa permitting work (eg 457, 422,
    even 417). The applicant is already counted inside Australia’s workforce, albeit
    temporary. Then to queue them and then count them as a threat to the local workforce is
    effectively a double or spurious count. The ENS process also is inefficiently cluttered with
    those (not all) that may be eligible for “transfer” to that stream. Avoid the clutter by rapid
    decision on the GSM application itself. To not do so is double work caused elsewhere to the
    ii) Others such as Language Skill 7 and over in the IELTS and Sponsorship by an Australian
    These as very good predictors of success and/or, having a family reunion element, should
    receive priority processing in the “pipeline”.
    The rapid analysis of the characteristics of those filing GSM applications and profiling them
    early, will allow DIAC to match what is being achieved in attracting migrants/permanent
    residents to Australia and to be attentive and timely in making any needed variation in its
    policy settings going forward. Good management requires measurement and performance
    assessment that is timely. A change from the “parking” protocol is clearly needs to be
    changed to “immediate evaluation”. The visa application charge warrants that. And the root
    causes of problems must be courageously addressed, urgently. Resourcing or funding the
    processing centre will fix that and avoid duplication in ENS processing. Otherwise it is
    management with the lights off.
    The Migration Institute of Australia is certain that the Minister and the Department aspire to a
    higher level of client service in the matter of the GSM crisis. In the short term the current
    priorities and policy settings dysfunction are definitely bringing about dismay in the minds of
    applicants as regards the conduct and fairness of the Commonwealth. This can hardly be
    your intention or wish. It is hoped that the Institutes recommendations can assist the Minister
    and the Department. The feedback of the Institute is that the apparent failure of
    consideration for the VAC’s paid, may trigger applicants seeking redress.
    The MIA believes that you must engage in an open and inclusive public debate on what the
    objectives and settings for the GSM program should be. Its position as the largest single
    Australian migration program, and therefore its influence on the manifold dimensions of
    Australia’s future, demand nothing less. It must not continue to suffer the reprehensible
    neglect or ad hoc changes it has experienced in recent times.
    Examples of Applicants caught in the pipeline
    Until 23 September 2009 these applications would have received priority processing
    because of State sponsorship and were close to being finalised. Applicants are now
    confronted with the prospect of their visa applications not being further processed until late
    2012 at the earliest.
    Case 1
    Applicant for visa subclass 176 – sponsored by West Australian Government
    Occupation: Bricklayer
    26 February 2009 – Application lodged
    July 2009 – Applicant underwent medicals and provided Police clearance from The
    24 August 2009 – DIAC request for Australian Federal Police (AFP) clearance
    29 September 2009 – Applicant provided AFP clearance
    Case now in limbo
    Case 2
    Applicant for visa subclass 176 – Sponsored by South Australian Government
    Occupation: General Electrician
    20 July 2009 – Application lodged
    25 August 2009 – DIAC request for Police clearance from The Netherlands and request to
    undergo medicals
    28 August 2009 – Applicant underwent medicals
    1 September 2009 – Applicant underwent medicals
    7 September 2009 – Applicant provided Police clearance
    Case now in limbo
    Case 3
    Applicant for visa subclass: 475 – Sponsored by South Australia Government
    Occupation: Business and Information Professional (nec)
    3 August 2008 – Application lodged
    15 August 2008 – Form 47A provided to ASPC
    January 2009 – Applicants provided Police Clearances from The Netherlands and underwent
    20 February 2009 – DIAC request for evidence of sponsorship by SA, which had not been
    received by the ASPC
    8 April 2009 – DIAC request for form 47A for one of the secondary applicants which had
    gone missing within the ASPC
    15 July 2009 – DIAC request for further information regarding the dependency of one of the
    secondary applicants, due to time of decision requirement
    20 July 2009 – DIAC request for signed withdrawal letter for one of the secondary applicants
    24 August 2009 – DIAC informs that application is undergoing checks or clearances from
    other agencies which will delay the processing of the application.
    Case now in limbo
    Note: This visa application has had three case officers. The first case officer had started
    processing the application but processing stalled during the time that the application was
    allocated to him/her. The first and second case officers were replaced due to reorganisation
    within DIAC.
    Case 4
    Subclass 176 application – sponsored by Western Australian Government
    12 November 2008 – Application lodged
    18 August 2009 – DIAC request for health and character checks
    1 September 2009 – Health check finalised. Character check not finalised
    Case now in limbo
    Case 5
    Subclass 475 application – sponsored by Queensland Government
    23 December 2008 – Application lodged
    27 July 2009 – DIAC request for military discharge certificate and employer reference
    20 August 2009 – Employment reference sent to DIAC
    14 October 2009 – Military discharge certificate sent to DIAC
    Case now in limbo
    Case 6
    Subclass 176 application – sponsored by Western Australian Government
    30 June 2009 – Application lodged
    18 August 2009 – DIAC request for health and character checks
    24 September 2009 – Health check sent to DIAC
    27 October 2009 – Character check sent to DIAC
    Case now in limbo

  4. Hi there to all the applicants,

    I think is it very reasonable to consider about the
    applications that lodged before 23rd of Septmber
    2009 because the applicants did noy know such rule.
    If the applicants knew such rule they would never
    have lodged the application paying such amount
    to the Australian government.
    So please be fair with the applicants who lodegd
    before 23rd September 2009



  5. Have applied under visa category 175, skilled migrant since June 2008. At the beginning of January, was on the CSL. Then, in March, my job was removed and figured under the MODL. Feel really stressed, now they are saying not before 2012, that is minimum 4 years it would have taken. If i knew that would be the case, would never have applied and which is more, no refund can be made. They just put a knife under your throat. Any chance that those who lodged their application last year be processed according to previous law with time they approximately gave. It is true of the recession but still, they cannot invite others to lodge their visa whilst they cannot process those who have already lodged. If we have to wait for 4 years, how long might they have to wait a day?8 years!That is a drastic change and really very bad.

    • It is true. My case is same as that of you. Actually, this is not our fault. Fault is in the immigration. And they are putting knife for the things on the troat of people for their own fault. They are unable to process the applications faster and they are blaiming people for that. Those who should suffer, that is those who dont have sufficient skills and english language requirements are now settled in Australia while those who are applying now according to strict Australian Laws, are suffering. Very bad Australian Immigration. Very Bad!!!!

  6. Yes ModL is being over-hauled. But I assume that days of CSL are not numbered yes it could be changed. Accountants with even over band 7 can tucked away but all this would have happen before atleast Dec 31 2009 or Feb 28 2010. I substantiate this claim by a single line mentioned for Accountants that those who do not manage to get 7 in all competencies of ILETS a strange phenomena , considering they have altelast study 2 years here in English in Australia can opt for Skill migration Internship programme . Now this progrannge was started for first time by unis acroess Australia in Feb 2008 and atlest take 1 year to complete .

    I wonder whether DIAC will have the initiative to fine tune CSL or remove it before giving chance to these SMIP applaicants who have spent 12,000 to 18,000 on fees no chance to avail proirity processin g time to put them in queue 3 or 4 ?

    On side Note

    Currently there seems to be a long delay, compared to pre- January 2009, in getting the final visa grant letter even after all dcouments have been sent to DIAC and the online status shows MET for all items. To our knowledge this is due to the following reasons. There may be others, which we do not know about.

    1. For High Risk Countries extra checks are being carried out both to verify employment references and also to do charcater checks. Character checks, which is done as part of Security Check, is more extensive and thorough than it was before.
    2. After the Case Officer has completed working on an application, the application is passed on to a Decision Maker. The Decision Maker goes through the file and gives the final decision before the Case Officer can issue the final letter, explaining the decision on an application. The adding of a separate Decision Maker seems to be a new stage.

    Advice to prospective applicants for Skilled Migration

    Our advice to prospective applicants for skilled migration is that before applying and commiting your hard earned money
    you should first fird out in which processing queue (1,2,3, 4 or 5) your application will fall.

    If I were you I would not apply if my application fell in procerssing queues 4 or 5. By falling in these queues you will not know
    when your application will be processed. Therefore, instead of letting your application fee (A$2000 plus) get stuck you should wait and/or
    prepare so that you can fall either in Queue no. 2 or 3. It can be done in the following way:

    Advice for Accountants and External Auditors

    (a) seek sponsorship from a state to be in queue level 2 OR
    (b) improve English and resit the IELTS exam to score 7 or more in each of the four components to fall in queue level 3

    Advice for IT professionals

    (a) first of all get four years work experience in IT
    (b) try to get one year’s work experience in an IT specialisation which is currently mentioned in the MODL to fall in the queue level 3
    (c) try to get a state sponsorship to fall in the queue level 2

    Advice for Engineers & Health Professionals

    (a) Currently most engineering and health occupations are in the Critical Shortate List. Thus you will be in queue level 3. For applicants who are in queue level 3, case officers are being assigned pretty quickly. If you wish to move to queue level 2 then you should try to get sponsorship from a state .

    Advice for Other professionals

    (a) check the state sponsorship lists. If your occupation is in the state sponsorship list then try to get a state sponsorship- queue level 2
    (b) if your current occupation is not in the CSL, if you are still intgerested in applying for migraation to Australia then try to prepare for an occupation which is on the CSL and/or on the state sponship list.

    DO NOT WASTE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY BY APPLYING WHEN YOU WILL NOT FALL in QUEUES 1, 2 or 3. If you are not in these three queues it may take a few years before your application will be assigned to a Case Officer for assessment.

    • Dear Lordfair,
      I have obtained State Sponsorship from Government of Western Australia under Visa sub class 176 for the trade occupation Agricultural Adviser.Can u please tell me under which que status I belongs to??????…Please reply

  7. Dear Sir,

    I have lodged my application on the 27th of August 07 (subclass BQ 138) I have a twin in perth who has sponsered me but has of now I have not recieved any information on my immigration papers. Kindly let me know as to when I would get some information. When will papers to be handed over to a case officer.

    Looking forward to your propmt reply.


  8. Dear Sir,

    My wife has Lodgement my case on Date: 29 June 2009, Under the
    Application Type: Class VE, Subclass 176 Skilled – Sponsored.

    Question : When will the case offices will verifiy the Job. Is he/She is comming to the current working place where She is working Now or also going to the old company’s where She has worked.

    Just confirm me (APROX. TIME MONTH) in which month they will verifiy the job, So that She will inform or remind the old companies HR-Person.
    So that they will remember that in the past year’s She also worked in there company.

    She has applied under Skill – APPRAEL CUTTER.

    Best Regards
    Anil Mehra

    • i have aplly for the same category of visa, and same job, apparel cutter since may 2008 and im still waiting to get a C/O im sure u will have to wait a lot of time before other information is requested by diac..
      good luck

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