Information for Skilled Migration Visa Priority Processing

The Regional Employer Sponsored visa will be given the highest processing priority. Department will be able to consider and finalise the visa applications by priority that the Minister considers appropriate through this priority processing arrangements. This arrangement will be applied to the applications for the following:

  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
  • Points-tested skilled migration.

Highest priority will be given to visa subclass 186, 187, 189, 190, or 489 in which each priority processing group which will be lodge in Skill Select.

The reason of the changes of priority processing arrangements refers to the needs of industry by targeting skills which are in demand in some sectors. And this is subject to change in response to Australia’s economic situation and does not change visa eligibility criteria. Departmental case officers cannot process applications if it is not in a set order. And officers must follow the minister’s direction about the priority processing.

Priority Processing are grouped in the following:

  • 1st Priority group - these are the applications who are applying under the RSMS
  • 2nd Priority group - these are the applications under ENS
  • 3rd Priority group - these are the people who applied for applications and are nominated by a state or territory government agency
  • 4th Priority group - these are the skilled migration applicants with a nominated occupation on MLTSSL - schedule 1 which includes both independent and family sponsored applications.
  • 5th Priority group - these are the skilled migration applicants who are not nominated by a state or territory government and also not on the MLTSSL

Here are the following skilled migration visas that are subject to priority processing directions

  • Subclass 176 Skilled Sponsored Visa
  • Subclass 189 Skilled Independent - Points-tested stream Visa
  • Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa
  • Subclass 487 Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa
  • Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa
  • Subclass 495 Skilled Independent Regional (Provisional) Visa
  • Subclass 496 Skilled Designated Area-sponsored Visa
  • Subclass 497 Graduate Skilled Visa
  • Subclass 861 Skilled Independent New Zealand Citizen Visa
  • Subclass 862 Skilled Onshore Australian–sponsored New Zealand Citizen Visa
  • Subclass 863 Skilled Designated Area sponsored New Zealand Citizen Visa
  • Subclass 880 Skilled Independent Overseas Student Visa
  • Subclass 881 Skilled Australian-sponsored Overseas Student Visa
  • Subclass 882 Skilled Designated Area-sponsored Overseas Student Visa
  • Subclass 885 Skilled Independent Visa
  • Subclass 886 Skilled Sponsored Visa

Thus, here are the summary of the following skilled migration visas that are exempt from priority processing directions

  • Subclass 189 Skilled Independent (New Zealand) stream Visa
  • Subclass 887 Skilled Regional Visa
  • Migration visa applications remitted by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to the department
  • Holds an eligible subclass 495, 496, 475 or 487 visa applications for Skilled Sponsored Provisional (subclass 489) visa in the second provisional visa stream
  • Applications from subsequent entrant applicants