General Skilled Migration visas for Australia suspended

May 10, 2010

The Australian Department of Immigration, DIAC, have temporarily suspended three General Skilled Migration visas for Australia. An update on the DIAC website states that from Saturday the 8th of May certain GSM visa applications will be suspended until the 30th of June 2010. It states that the demand for these GSM visas have outstripped the number of available places. The visas affected are:Subclass 175 – Skilled Independent (Migrant) visa. Subclass 176 – Skilled Sponsored (Migrant) visa. Subclass 475 – Skilled Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa. DIAC states that; “The temporary suspension is being implemented to ensure that the occupational profile of applicants for GSM clearly reflects the needs of the Australian labour market.” The suspension follows a series of changes by the government to the Australian immigration program designed to attract more highly skilled migrants to Australia. This suspension includes occupations on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) which DIAC say will be released this month. The suspension will remain until the end of June when DIAC anticipates the new SOL will be implemented. This suspension affects all new applications for the GSM subclasses listed above. DIAC will not now be taking any new visa applications for these subclasses. The Visa Application Charge will be fully refunded to the applicant. However, incurred fees such as medical examinations will not be refunded by DIAC as the payments were not made to the government. Applications already submitted will be processed as normal. If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please call our office on 01244 321414 or 0845 2302526. We will be happy to discuss your position and review your options. Alternatively, if you’re keen to migrate quickly, you may wish to consider New Zealand as a good alternative. The speed of visa processing is much faster and Immigration New Zealand do not appear to have any policy changes planned unlike Australia. If you would like your eligibility for New Zealand assessed, please call The Emigration Group on 0845 230 4390 or download an Assessment Form here: Standard.pdf