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Australia Visa Processing Priorities: Priority Processing for Visa Applications

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One important factor to consider before deciding which visa subclass to apply for is the priority processing order for visa applications.

Before reading on, please understand that priority processing DOES NOT affect your visa eligibility in any way, and ONLY determines how quickly your visa application will be entered into processing upon lodgement to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

How does the Australia visa priority processing order work?

Essentially, the priority processing order determines how quickly your visa application will be processed after lodging it to DIBP.

Should you be eligible for multiple visas, it is vital that you understand the huge differences in processing times BEFORE deciding which visa option is right for your personal circumstances.

Current Australian Visa Processing Priorities - As of 08/03/2013
Processing Priority Group Group Criteria Processing timeframe
Priority Group 1

Applications from people who are employer sponsored under the Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) program or who have applied for a Skilled - Regional (subclass 887) visa.

Approx. 5 - 8 months.
Priority Group 2 Applications from people who are applying under the Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) program. Approx. 5 - 8 months.
Priority Group 3

Applications from people who are nominated by a state or territory government agency for an occupation specified on that agency's State Migration Plan under visa subclasses 190 and 489.

Approx. 6 months.

Priority Group 4

Applications from people who have nominated an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)- Schedule 1.

Approx. 12 months.

Priority Group 5

All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.

Assessment will commence when all cases in priority groups 1-4 are finalised.