Priority Processing Increased for General Skilled and Employer Sponsored Applicants

The Australian government has announced that it will be increasing the priority processing of skilled visa applications. This change is designed to help address the country’s current skills shortages and to make it easier for skilled workers to migrate to Australia.

The new priority processing arrangements will apply to all skilled visa subclasses, including the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa, the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa, and the Employer Sponsored Visa (ESV). Under the new arrangements, applications will be processed in the following order of priority:

  1. Applications in relation to healthcare or education occupations
  2. Applications lodged or nominated by an Accredited Sponsor with Accredited Status
  3. Applications in relation to an occupation to be carried out in a designated regional area
  4. Applications that count towards the migration program (excluding Subclass 188)
  5. All other visa or nomination applications

Skilled visa applications are processed according to government policy priorities, which are outlined in Ministerial Direction No. 100.

The following skilled visas are subject to Ministerial Direction No. 100:​

  • Subclass 124 (Distinguished Talent)
  • Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme)
  • Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme)
  • Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment) (Provisional)
  • Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent)
  • Subclass 190 (Skilled – Nominated)
  • Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional))
  • Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled))
  • Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage)
  • Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 494 (Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 858 (Global Talent)
  • Subclass 887 (Skilled – Regional)
  • Subclass 888 (Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent).

Skilled visa applications are processed in the following order of priority:​

Within each category above, for provisional and permanent skilled visa applications, priority is given to visa applications where the primary applicant is located outside Australia at the time the visa application is made.​

Healthcare or Teaching Occupations

  • ANZSCO Sub-major Group 25 – Health Professionals
  • ANZSCO Minor Group 241 – School Teachers
  • ANZSCO Minor Group 411 – Health and Welfare Support Workers
  • ANZSCO Unit Group 1341 – Child Care Centre Managers
  • ANZSCO Unit Group 2346 – Medical Scientists
  • ANZSCO Unit Group 2721 – Counsellors
  • ANZSCO Unit Group 2723 – Psychologists
  • ANZSCO Unit Group 2725 – Social Workers
  • ANZSCO Unit Group 3112 – Medical Technicians
  • ANZSCO occupations:
    • 134311 – School Principal
    • 421111 – Child Care Worker
    • 423111 – Aged or Disabled Carer
    • 423312 – Nursing Support Worker
    • 423313 – Personal Care Assistant.​

All other skilled visa applications are assessed in order of date of lodgement.

The government has said that the new priority processing arrangements will help to ensure that the most skilled and in-demand workers are able to migrate to Australia as quickly as possible. The government has also said that the new arrangements will help to boost the Australian economy and to create jobs.

If you are considering applying for a skilled visa to Australia, it is important to be aware of the new priority processing arrangements. 

Augustine & Co. Immigration Lawyers

Augustine & Co. immigration lawyers are experts in helping skilled workers migrate to Australia. We have a team of experienced lawyers & migration consultants who can help you with every step of the visa application process. We can help you assess your eligibility for a visa, prepare your application, and represent you at any interviews or hearings in the tribunal or courts. 

If you are interested in migrating to Australia on a skilled visa, contact our knowledgeable team of Immigration Lawyers today. We will be happy to discuss your case and to help you achieve your immigration goals. Get help from an experienced immigration lawyer. An experienced immigration lawyer can help you with every step of the visa application process and can help you to ensure that your application is decision ready. 


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Calvin Augustine is the founding solicitor of Augustine & Co. Immigration Lawyers. He graduated with Honors from the University of London law school, before being admitted to practice in Malaysia and Australia (admitted in SA, appears in all Victorian Courts and Tribunals, at trial and appellate levels).