01 July 2010

Australian visa application suspension lifted and changes to GSM program introduced

The temporary suspension of certain general skilled migration applications has now been lifted by the Australian Government, and changes to the system come into effect today.

Australian Visa

Australian Visa changes come into effect today.

Applications for the Australian Visa subclasses, Subclass 175 – Skilled Independent (Migrant) visa, Subclass 176 – Skilled Sponsored (Migrant) visa and Subclass 475 – Skilled Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa are now being accepted.

Australian immigration changes coming into effect today also include the implementation of the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL), which identifies occupations in need in Australia and will apply to all new general skilled migration applications. The Australian SOL will be updated annually to reflect the needs of the Australian labour market.

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), a classification system that provides for the standardised collection, analysis, and dissemination of occupation data will now replace the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) previously used by the department. 

On 8 February 2010, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, announced that applications for certain offshore skilled migration visas made before 1 September 2007 would be capped and ceased.  As the cap has now been reached, applications subject to the capping decision have now ceased and the relevant Visa Application Charge(s) will be returned to the applicant.

Changes have also been made to state nominated and family sponsored GSM visas and from today applicants for certain GSM applications will be required to demonstrate that they have been nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative. These amendments relate to the following visa subclasses: Skilled – Sponsored (Migrant) Visa (Subclass 176), Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) Visa (Subclass 886), Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 475) and Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 487).

Applicants should lodge their Australian Visa application form first.  The nominating state or territory government agency or sponsoring eligible relative should then complete the associated nomination or sponsorship form using the TRN number provided to the visa applicant when lodging the visa application within within 28 days to demonstrate that the applicant is nominated or sponsored.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa applications with the Australian Embassy.   

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