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Government announces suspension of the Australian Skilled Migration program

In an unexpected move, the Australian Government has announced it will not accept applications for offshore general skilled migration, effective midnight AEST 7 May, until the end of the current program year on 30 June, 2010.

The temporary suspension applies to all primary applicants for the following Australian visas: Subclass 175 – Skilled Independent; Subclass 176 – Skilled Sponsored; and Subclass 475 – Skilled Regional Sponsored.

Applications for these Australian visa subclasses submitted on or after 8 May, 2010, will be considered invalid and the application will be returned to the client along with the Visa Application Charge although all associated fees, for example fees incurred for medical examinations, cannot be refunded.

Those who have already submitted a valid application, online or by mail, before midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) on 7 May will have their application processed as normal and in accordance with the priority processing arrangements.

A statement issued by the Australian Department of Immigration said the demand for general skilled migration places exceeded the available supply.

“The temporary suspension will ensure that the occupational profile of applicants for General Skilled Migration clearly reflects the needs of the Australian labour market,” the statement detailed.

“The temporary suspension will also facilitate the transition from the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) to the new SOL. It is anticipated that the Government will announce proposed changes to the SOL in May 2010.”

The suspension follows a growing list of changes to the Australian immigration program announced without notice by the Australian Government.

Applications for affected visa subclasses submitted on or after 8 May 2010 will be considered invalid and the application will be returned to the client together with the Visa Application Charge (VAC). However, associated fees such as those incurred for medical examinations, English language tests and skills assessments cannot be refunded as these payments were not made to the Government.

Applications for visa subclasses affected by the temporary suspension will be able to be made once the suspension has been lifted.

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. Hi, I have applied under the VE-176 subclass on 29th june 2009. My skill fall under the 4941-17 (Apparel Cuter). As per the new Priority Processing system my application will final on 2012. Is there any other way so that we can change the CLASS and the get the visa on less time. As per my view that Australian Govt. Not made the new rule good. This is the Best way of making the Money BY AUSTRALIAN GOVT. —- making the low as ” Applications lodged ON, or before 23 September 2009” if the Low as ”Applications lodged or before 23 September 2009” than is make the sence and looks good. We all have to make the complant to Govt. for this new LOW and thay must have to change it. Now the Cananda processing time is less

    1. How much time they will take to allot me a CO. (Case Officer) Aprox Time.

    2. Can we now that NOW where is my application current possition.

    Best Regards
    Anil mehra


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