25 November 2011

Priority Group 5 Australian visa applications to finally enter processing

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Australia have released an update concerning Australian visa applications currently waiting for further processing in 'Priority Group 5'.

Australia visa

Certain Priority Group 5 Australian visa applications are soon to be entered into processing.

The Australia visa Priority Group 5, which includes Australian skilled migration applications based on nominated occupations that are not in high demand and have not been sponsored by a state as part of a State Migration Plan, was created following amendments to priority processing arrangements made by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, in July 2011. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has stated the amendments were made in response to the current economic climate in Australia and the demand for particular skills in the Australian economy.

The current Australian visa processing arrangements dictate that no applications in this group will be considered for further processing until all applications in higher priority groups have been processed. This ambiguity in respect of specific timeframes has resulted in some applicants left feeling frustrated and disillusioned with the migration application process.

DIAC has now released more specific information in respect of the numbers of applications waiting for processing. They have confirmed that there are currently 42,631 total applications in priority group 5, with 64% of those lodged within Australia.

It has been confirmed that applications made in Australia prior to 1st September 2007 will be the first to be processed, of which there are 756. After this time, offshore applications submitted before the same time will be considered, of which there are 594.

The Department has confirmed that processing of applications in this priority group is expected to commence in the current migration program year, which ends on 30th June 2012 but has noted that this is dependent on the number of higher priority applications lodged, and “any change in the size of the Migration Program or the variation of the Processing Direction.” 

The net result is that applicants waiting for their priority 5 applications to be processed may continue to face a long wait.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.

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