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Australian Visas – Processing could be delayed to 2011

australian visa delays again!The Australian Immigration and Citizenship department have started issuing letters to visa applicants who have applied for Australian Residency under certain visa classes.

The letter confirms that priority will be given to applicants who are applying under the employer or state sponsored visa classes. In addition the letter also confirms that priority will remain for those holding a primary occupation which is listed on the Critical Skills List (CSL)

Essentially though, the letter goes onto confirm that if you do not fall into one of these three categories, it now looks almost certain that the processing of your application will be delayed into the 2010 – 1011 Migration program year.

The key text taken from the letter is as follows:

“As you may be aware, in a media release dated 12 May 2009, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans (“the Minister”) announced that, in response to the continued economic slowdown, the Australian Government has decided that the permanent skilled migrant intake for the 2009-10 program year will be 108,100 places.

As a result, the priority arrangements implemented on 1 January 2009 following the Minister’s direction in relation to the order of consideration of certain applications for sponsorship, nomination and visas under the Skill Stream of the Migration Program, will remain in place for 2009-10. Consistent with that direction, visa applications under the permanent GSM Program will be processed according to the following order:

1. employer sponsorship
2. State or Territory sponsorship
3. an occupation on the Critical Skills List (CSL)
4. an occupation on the Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL)
5. all other applications in date of lodgement order

The arrangements put in place will continue to ensure that priority is given to employer-sponsored and government-sponsored visa applications, and that skills shortages in particular fields and regional areas are addressed. Furthermore, the CSL will remain in place for those applicants who have skills in areas of critical need and are seeking to migrate to Australia without a sponsor.
How are you affected?

Your application does not fall into Groups 1-2 and your nominated occupation is not on the CSL . This means that no further processing can be done on your application until all applications in Groups 1-3 have been finalised.

Based on current application rates for Groups 1-3, it is unlikely at this stage that applications which fall in Groups 1-3 will be exhausted in the 2009-10 Migration Program year and processing of Groups 4 and 5 will be delayed until this has occurred.

This arrangement applies to all applications in Groups 4 and 5, irrespective of whether health and character clearances have been provided; the date your application was submitted; whether the application is in the final stages of processing or your nominated occupation was previously on the CSL.

We will contact you again should there be any changes to the above arrangements.”

To say that this will be devastating news for anyone in this category would will be a massive understatement and we’ll continue to keep track of any changes as and when they happen.

RELATED:   Additional IELTS tests for student visa holders with visas ceasing 15 March 2009

UPDATE: Please see this article for Visa classes not impacted by this announcement

You can read the full text of the letter by Clicking Here.

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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 assistance. If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Community Forums. Please note All information provided on Getting Down Under should be considered in conjunction with our disclaimer. Please seek professional advice if you have any doubts!

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