The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) of Australia has released a new Ministerial Direction providing a new order of priority of processing for skilled nominations and visa applications, with the aim to improve processing times, clear visa backlogs and address Australia’s worker shortage.
During the pandemic, the government created the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL), which contained occupations to fill critical skills needed to support Australia’s economic recovery. The PMSOL is outdated, and the DHA has replaced it with a renewed visa processing system that will prioritise education and health professionals followed by employer sponsored visas.
This new Ministerial Direction came into effect on 28 October 2022 and formalises the Australian Government’s processing priorities reducing the number of priorities of the previous PMSOL, which will in turn increase efficiencies and reduce visa processing times.
What skilled visas are eligible to receive processing priority?
The Direction applies to new and pending applications in the following visa subclasses:
- Subclass 124 (Distinguished Talent)
- Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme)
- Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme)
- Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment) (Provisional)
- Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent)
- Subclass 190 (Skilled – Nominated)
- Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional))
- Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled))
- Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage)
- Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional))
- Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional))
- Subclass 494 (Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional))
- Subclass 858 (Global Talent)
- Subclass 887 (Skilled – Regional)
- Subclass 888 (Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent)
What are the new skilled visa processing priorities?
The following is the priority order for skilled visa applications:
- Visa applications in relation to healthcare and teaching occupations.
- Employer sponsored visa applications where the applicant is nominated by an approved Accredited Sponsor.
- Visa applications in relation to an occupation to be carried out in a designated regional area.
- Permanent and provisional visa applications that count towards the migration program, excluding the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa.
- All other visa applications, according to the date when they were lodged.
For all categories above, priority will be given to holders of eligible passports. For provisional and permanent skilled visa applications, priority is given to visa applications where the primary applicant is located outside Australia at the time the visa application is made.
Healthcare or Teaching Occupations prioritised
The occupations that will be given priority under health and education include:
- ANZSCO Sub-major Group 25 – Health Professionals
- ANZSCO Minor Group 241 – School Teachers
- ANZSCO Minor Group 411 – Health and Welfare Support Workers
- ANZSCO Unit Group 1341 – Child Care Centre Managers
- ANZSCO Unit Group 2346 – Medical Scientists
- ANZSCO Unit Group 2721 – Counsellors
- ANZSCO Unit Group 2723 – Psychologists
- ANZSCO Unit Group 2725 – Social Workers
- ANZSCO Unit Group 3112 – Medical Technicians
- ANZSCO occupations:
- 134311 – School Principal
- 421111 – Child Care Worker
- 423111 – Aged or Disabled Carer
- 423312 – Nursing Support Worker
- 423313 – Personal Care Assistant
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