States and Territories put out their own lists or occupations in demand, or in short supply. These occupations are listed on Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) Schedule 2.  Those who intend to apply independent of any sponsorship (State, Territory, or Relative-based) should look for their occupations under Schedule 1 of the Skilled Occupations List (SOL).

The tables below (from DIAC) detail the processing time service standards for skilled migration visas.
Note: We aim to process applications within these service standards, however, actual processing times may vary depending on a range of factors.
 

Processing priority groups

Priority processing arrangements apply to skilled migration applications. They determine the order in which the department considers applications. Applications accorded a higher priority under the arrangements will be processed ahead of lower priority applications, regardless of when the application is lodged.

The following table details processing priorities for skilled migration applications.
Note: The highest priority is listed first.

Priority Group Number

Application Type

1

Employer sponsored under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) program or who have applied for a Skilled – Regional (subclass 887) visa

2

Employer sponsored under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) program

3

Nominated by a state or territory government agency for an occupation specified on that agency’s state migration plan

4

Applicants who have nominated an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – Schedule 1

5

All other applications

Processing times – skilled migration applications affected by processing priorities

The below table describes the processing times for the following visa subclasses.

Priority Group Number

Visa Subclass

Processing Time

1

RSMS
(subclass 119, 857)
Skilled Regional
(subclass 887)

Low risk – 5 months
High risk – 8 months

2

ENS
(subclass 121, 856)

Low risk – 5 months
High risk – 8 months

3

State Migration Plans (SMP)
(subclass 176, 475, 487, 886)

Low risk – 12 months
High risk – 24 months

4

Nominated Occupation on the SOL – Schedule 1
(subclass 175, 495, 496, 861, 862, 863, 880, 881, 882, 883, 885 and 176, 475, 487 if not SMP)

18 months

5

All visas listed in priority 3 and 4 that are not SMP or Nominated Occupation on the SOL – Schedule 1

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

Processing times – skilled migration applications exempt from processing priorities

The following visa subclasses are exempt from priority processing. These subclasses are processed in the order in which they are received.

Visa Subclass

Processing Time

476

7 months

485

12 months

120, 855

Low risk – 5 months
High risk – 8 months

Low risk applies to nationals from countries which issue Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) eligible passports. A list of these can be found on the department's website. High risk countries are those which are not ETA eligible.

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About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.


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