Australian Skilled Visa Application Priority Processing Order

While the Australian visa application process is specific to individual applications and can take any length of time from a few weeks to a few years, understanding the Australian visa application priority processing order will help to give some idea of where you stand in relation to other applications.

How does the Australian visa priority processing order work?

The priority processing order is two sets of directions for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) that clearly states the order in which immigration officers will process skilled Australian permanent and provisional 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 DIBP.

Current Australian Visa Processing Priorities - Updated 01/07/2011
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.

Approx. 12 - 24 months.

Priority Group 4

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

Approx. 18 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.

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