20 April 2018

Why has Australian Skilled Migration slowed?

Visa Bureau is not affiliated with the Australian Government but is an independent UK company. Australian visas are available from the Australian Government at a lower cost or for free when you apply directly. Our comprehensive visa and immigration services include immigration advice from registered migration agents, a 100% success rate, document checking and expedited visa processing.

As Australian skilled visa processing times increase, our Registered Migration Agents work hard to keep you informed and advise the best pathways to migrate Down Under.

If you are applying through the General Skilled Migration (GSM) pathway you may have experienced the longer processing times. With so much access to Australian migration advice online it can be difficult to determine the facts about skilled migration to Australia. Below, we explore the reasons why GSM has slowed and what this entails for future skilled visa applications.

Why is it taking longer to obtain a skilled visa?

There are two primary reasons it's taking longer to secure a skilled visa:

  1. Securing an invitation to apply for a skilled visa has become more difficult
  2. Once you have obtained a positive skill assessment and English Language Test score you will be in a position to lodge your Expression of Interest (EOI). Once submitted you must wait for an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for the skilled visa.

    As result of Immigration reducing the number of invitations available, the points required for securing an invitation has fluctuated to 70 and beyond. Previously the points required for an ITA were 60, and while you can still successfully lodge an EOI on 60 points it is highly unlikely you will receive an invitation at this given time. This in turn has seen people waiting substantially longer to receive an invitation to apply for a 189 Skilled Independent Visa, with many people opting for alternative solutions such as State Sponsorship or increasing their points through an English Language Test.

    The reason for the decline in ITA's is to allow for the expected influx of New Zealand citizens who are now eligible under the GSM pathway. Between 60,000 and 80,000 Kiwis are eligible for this new visa, according to different estimates. As a result Immigration has heavily reduced the number of spaces available to overseas applicants.

  3. More applicants applying through the General Skilled Migration pathway
  4. The introduction of a new visa pathway for New Zealand citizens has dramatically increased the amount of people applying for Australian skilled migration. The Government introduced this new visa, merging it with the existing GSM programme but not increasing the number of visas available in the scheme. Put simply, New Zealanders already residing in Australia are taking visas that previously went to overseas immigrants.

    Forty four thousand places in Australia's skilled independent visa program have traditionally gone to applicants who are living overseas. But now as many as ten thousand New Zealanders who are already residing and working in Australia will be part of this annual allocation, thus reducing the number of visas available to overseas applicants.

How can I speed up the skilled migration visa process?

There are two primary options for potentially speeding up the skilled visa process; increase the points you submit in your Expression of Interest or apply for State Sponsorship.

There are numerous areas in which you are allocated points towards your skilled visa application. You are typically allocated points for:

As the main applicant you can complete a recognised English Language Test to increase your points score. Depending on your score, you can claim an extra ten or twenty points towards your application. This is generally the cheapest and quickest method in securing additional points towards the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189).

Alternatively, you may be eligible to apply for State Sponsorship via one of the State Governments. Your occupation must be on the State's list and there are generally additional requirements ranging from mandatory work experience in your occupation to evidencing employability and proving evidence of funds. Securing State Sponsorship can award you an extra five or ten points towards your visa application. Your invitation to apply (ITA) will be issued upon securing positive State Sponsorship which can range from 4 weeks to 26 weeks processing time depending on states.

Additionally there are less common ways in which you can claim points towards your skilled visa such as partner points and Australian work experience and study. If you would like to find out more about this please speak with a Registered Migration Agent by completing our free online visa assessment.

How can Visa bureau assist with my Skilled Visa application?

If you are considering applying through the General Skilled Migration pathway, using a Registered Migration Agent (RMA) to determine your eligibility is highly recommended before starting the process. We offer a variety of professional services to suit all budgets.

  1. Assess your eligibility for an Australian Visa by completing our FREE ONLINE ASSESSMENT.
  2. This service includes:

    • Your assessment will be reviewed by a Visa Bureau team member.
    • You will be advised of your visa options via email, including a detailed timeline document and a breakdown of visa costs.
    • You will receive a quote for using Visa Bureau's professional migration services.

    Please note this is not a document checking service and you will not receive access to our detailed checklists and employment reference templates.

  3. Discuss your Australian visa options with an experienced Registered Migration Agent at Visa Bureau. This service costs £60 for 30 minutes, and can be conducted either face-to-face, via Skype or telephone, and includes:
    • Professional advice and detailed explanation of the visa process
    • Identifying the best visa pathway for you
    • A full breakdown of the visa process, including a step-by-step timeline document and overview of all associated costs
    • Advice on obtaining a Skill Assessment for your nominated occupation
    • Determining the correct ANZSCO occupation and identifying any professional registration requirements
    • Discussing the medical and character requirements for the visa
    • Discussing any questions or concerns you may have about the visa process

    Please note this is not a document checking service and you will not receive access to our detailed checklists and employment reference templates.

  4. Visa Lodgement Only Service - Ask for a tailored quote
  5. If you have obtained a positive skill assessment and require a Registered Migration Agent to continue the visa process, this tailored service may be suitable. Our Visa Lodgement Service includes:

    • A detailed verification with a Registered Migration Agent to confirm your best visa pathway
    • Guidance with providing all required paperwork, including detailed checklists and supporting documents

    Visa Bureau will:

    1. Prepare and lodge your Skill Assessment
    2. Provide guidance with meeting the English Language requirements
    3. Lodge your Expression Of Interest
    4. Lodge your State Sponsorship application (if applicable)
    5. Lodge your Visa Application
    6. Assist with completion of Character and Medical checks

    • Liaise with the Department of Home Affairs (Immigration Department)
    • A dedicated Case Processor as your main point of contact, ensuring up-to-date personalised advice and support
    • A Registered Migration Agent ensures all your paperwork is present and at the required level of detail for migration purposes
    • Advice and support from our partnership team specialising in jobs, banking, shipping, currency and pension transfer and private health insurance

    Please note using our Full Visa Service is preferable as we will ensure the process is completed correctly and efficiently from the beginning, saving you time and money.

  6. Full Visa Service - Ask for a tailored quote
  7. If you are considering migrating to Australia then using a Registered Migration Agent to manage the whole process can save you time, money and stress. This service includes:

    • A detailed verification with a Registered Migration Agent to confirm your best visa pathway
    • Guidance with providing all required paperwork, including detailed checklists, supporting documents and personalised employment reference templates

    Visa Bureau will:

    1. Prepare and lodge your Skill Assessment
    2. Provide guidance with meeting the English Language requirements
    3. Lodge your Expression Of Interest
    4. Lodge your State Sponsorship application (if applicable)
    5. Lodge your Visa Application
    6. Assist with completion of Character and Medical checks
    7. Liaise with the Department of Home Affairs (Immigration Department)

    • A dedicated Case Processor as your main of contact, ensuring up-to-date and personalised support
    • A Registered Migration Agent ensures all your paperwork is present and at the required level for both the skill assessment and visa application
    • Advice and support from our partnership team specialising in jobs, banking, shipping, currency and pension transfer and private health insurance
    • FREE access to all of our exclusive Australian migration events and workshops

    Using a professional company such as Visa Bureau to manage your whole visa application can save you time and money.


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