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Skilled Migration Visas and Processing Times May 2018

The list of Skilled Visas and processing time for each category including the Temporary - Visas as of May 15, 2018. Processing time is updated monthly.


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Skilled Migration Visas and Processing Times May 2018
Written by Crispin Aranda.
Updated December 1, 2015 | Australia

Skilled migration visas and Processing Times May 15, 2018

The Minister can set priority processing arrangements for certain skilled migration visas. Current arrangements continue to give regional employer sponsored visas the highest processing priority.

The priority processing arrangements enable the department to consider and finalize visa applications in an order of priority that the Minister considers appropriate.

The priority processing arrangements apply to applications for the following visas:

  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
  • Points-tested skilled migration.

Since 1 July 2017, processing priorities (with highest priority listed first) are:

  1. applications from people who are sponsored under the RSMS program.
  2. applications from people who are sponsored under the ENS program.
  3. applications from people who are nominated by a state or territory government agency
  4. applications from people who have nominated an occupation on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) - Schedule 1 in effect since 1 July 2017
  5. all other applications.

Applications for visa subclasses 186, 187, 189, 190, or 489 which are lodged through SkillSelect will be given the highest priority within each priority processing group.

The changes to priority processing arrangements address the needs of industry by targeting skills in demand across a number of sectors, while ensuring that the Skilled Migration Program is responsive to the current economic climate and the needs of the Australian economy.

Priority processing arrangements are subject to changes in response to Australia’s economic situation and do not change visa eligibility criteria.

Priority processing arrangements apply to current applications, including those in the final stages of processing. Departmental case officers must follow the direction made by the minister about priority processing and cannot process applications outside of the set order.

Refunds of costs incurred during processing are not available for delays in processing. Applicants are not entitled to a refund of their Visa Application Charge (VAC) or compensation for other costs incurred in making an application.

 Expand all

 Priority processing groups

RSMS, ENS and state or territory nominated applications—priority groups 1, 2 and 3

Applications from people who are applying under the RSMS are processed as priority group 1. ENS is processed as priority group 2. Applications from people who are nominated by a state or territory government agency under a state migration plan receive the third highest level of priority processing.

Occupations on the MLTSSL—Schedule 1 in effect since 1 July 2017—priority group 4

All skilled migration applicants with a nominated occupation on the MLTSSL - Schedule 1 are included in priority group 4. This includes both independent and family sponsored applications.

All other applications—priority group 5

Skilled migration applicants with a nominated occupation that is not on the MLTSSL, and who are not nominated by a state or territory government under a state migration plan, will be processed under priority group 5.

Applicants should not contact the department to request that their application be exempt from the priority processing direction. Case officers do not have discretion to exempt applications.

Applicants who decide to withdraw their application are not entitled to a refund of the VAC or compensation for other costs incurred in making an application.


Summary of skilled migration visas subject to priority processing directions

The following skilled migration visas are subject to priority processing:

  • Skilled – Independent (subclass 175)
  • Skilled – Sponsored (subclass 176) 
  • Skilled – Independent (subclass 189) (Point-tested) stream
  • Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190)
  • Skilled – Regional Sponsored (subclass 475) 
  • Skilled – Regional Sponsored (subclass 487)
  • Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489)
  • Skilled – Independent Regional (Provisional) (subclass 495)
  • Skilled – Designated Area-sponsored (Provisional) (subclass 496)
  • Graduate – Skilled (subclass 497)
  • Skilled – Onshore Independent New Zealand Citizen (subclass 861)
  • Skilled – Onshore Australian–sponsored New Zealand Citizen (subclass 862)
  • Skilled – Onshore Designated Area–sponsored New Zealand Citizen (subclass 863)
  • Skilled – Independent Overseas Student (subclass 880)
  • Skilled – Australian-sponsored Overseas Student (subclass 881)
  • Skilled – Designated Area-sponsored Overseas Student (subclass 882)
  • Skilled – Independent (subclass 885)
  • Skilled – Sponsored (subclass 886)

 Summary of skilled migration visas exempt from priority processing directions

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

  • Skilled – Independent (subclass 189) (New Zealand) stream
  • Skilled – Regional (subclass 887)

The following applications are also exempt from priority processing and will be processed in the order in which they are received:

  • migration visa applications that are remitted to the department by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
  • applications where it is readily apparent the criteria for grant of a visa would not be satisfied
  • applications from the holders of eligible subclass 495, 496, 475 or 487 visas for a Skilled—Sponsored Provisional (subclass 489) visa in the second provisional visa stream
  • applications from subsequent entrant applicants. 

 Processing times

Estimates of processing times that may apply to different types of applicants are provided as a guide only. As processing times are dependent on a range of factors, individual processing times may vary considerably from the published estimates. Estimates are subject to change in response to changes in application rates and skilled migration policy.

Information on estimated processing times is available on Global.

Visa application processing times

Last updated: 15 May 2018 (for month ending 30 April 2018)

Visa Type

Stream (if available)

75% of applications processed in

90% of applications processed in

Visitor visas

651 eVisitor

1 business day

2 days

600 Visitor

Tourist1

17 days

29 days

600 Visitor

Business Visitor

9 days

15 days

600 Visitor

Frequent Traveler

13 days

14 days

600 Visitor

Sponsored Family

36 days

56 days

600 Visitor

Approved Destination Status

2 days

4 days

771 Transit

7 days

11 days

1Processing times for the Tourist stream range from 48 hours to more than 20 days depending on factors such as peak processing periods in a particular location.

Work and skilled visas

124 Distinguished Talent

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

132 Business Talent

Significant Business History

15 months

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

132 Business Talent

Venture Capital Entrepreneur

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

186 Employer Nomination Scheme

Agreement

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

186 Employer Nomination Scheme

Direct Entry

11 months

16 months

186 Employer Nomination Scheme

Temporary Residence Transition

12 months

13 months

187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

Temporary Residence Transition

12 months

13 months

187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

Direct Entry

21 months

23 months

187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

Agreement

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)

Significant Investor

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)

Investor

19 months

20 months

188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)

Business Innovation

15 months

21 months

188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)

Premium Investor

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)

Entrepreneur

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

189 Skilled - Independent

Points-tested

8 months

9 months

189 Skilled - Independent

New Zealand

Unavailable (see below for details)3

Unavailable (see below for details)3

190 Skilled - Nominated

 

6 months

10 months

400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity)

 

12 days

20 days

403 Temporary Work (International Relations)

Seasonal Worker Program

7 days

13 days

403 Temporary Work (International Relations)

Government Agreement

25 days

32 days

403 Temporary Work (International Relations)

Foreign Government Agency

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

403 Temporary Work (International Relations)

Domestic Worker (Diplomatic or Consular)

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

403 Temporary Work (International Relations)

Privileges and Immunities

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

405 Investor Retirement

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

407 Training

44 days

68 days

408 Temporary Activity

Australian Government Endorsed Events

48 days

58 days

408 Temporary Activity

Domestic Work for Executives

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

408 Temporary Activity

Exchange Arrangements

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

408 Temporary Activity

Superyacht Crew

6 days

14 days

408 Temporary Activity

Special Program

36 days

63 days

408 Temporary Activity

Religious Work

56 days

4 months

408 Temporary Activity

Research Activities

38 days

70 days

408 Temporary Activity

Invited for Other Social and Cultural Activity

14 days

24 days

408 Temporary Activity

Sporting Activities

30 days

55 days

408 Temporary Activity

Entertainment Activities

10 days

21 days

417 Working Holiday

18 days

36 days

457 Temporary Work (Skilled)

5 months

10 months

462 Work and Holiday2

28 days

46 days

476 Skilled - Recognized Graduate

87 days

4 months

482 Temporary Skill Shortage

​Short-Term

​11 days

​18 days

​482 Temporary Skill Shortage

​Medium-Term

​11 days

​17 days

​482 Temporary Skill Shortage

​Labour Agreement

​Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

​Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

485 Temporary Graduate

Graduate Work

3 months

5 months

485 Temporary Graduate

Post-Study Work

50 days

62 days

489 Skilled - Regional (Provisional)

Skilled Regional - GSM

Unavailable due to low volume of applications

Unavailable due to low volume of applications

489 Skilled - Regional (Provisional)

State/Territory Nominated Visa Classes - GSM

7 months

9 months

858 Distinguished Talent

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

887 Skilled - Regional

9 months

12 months

888 Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent)

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

890 Business Owner

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

891 Investor

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

892 State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner

17 months

18 months

893 State/Territory Sponsored Business Investor

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

2Due to high demand for subclass 462 Work and Holiday visas in the period of July - September, global processing times during these months are expected to increase and may exceed 30 days.
3Due to the recent introduction of the New Zealand pathway stream of the subclass 189 visa global processing times are not yet available.

Student visas

500 Student

Foreign Affairs or Defense Sector

14 days

34 days

500 Student

Postgraduate Research Sector

64 days

4 months

500 Student

Non-Award Sector

4 days

11 days

500 Student

Schools Sector

39 days

76 days

500 Student

Independent ELICOS Sector

33 days

46 days

500 Student

Vocational Education and Training Sector

42 days

63 days

500 Student

Higher Education Sector

40 days

50 days

590 Student Guardian

74 days

4 months

Family and partner visas

100 Partner4

19 months

30 months

101 Child

10 months

17 months

102 Adoption

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

117 Orphan Relative

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

143 Contributory Parent (Migrant)

39 months

41 months

173 Contributory Parent (Temporary)

38 months

45 months

300 Prospective Marriage

12 months

15 months

309 Partner (Provisional)

12 months

16 months

445 Dependent Child

11 months

18 months

461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary)

11 months

15 months

801 Partner4

16 months

21 months

802 Child

12 months

14 months

820 Partner

17 months

24 months

837 Orphan Relative

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

864 Contributory Aged-Parent (Residence)

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

884 Contributory Aged-Parent (Temporary)

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

4Processing time for subclass 801 Partner (permanent) visa and 100 Partner (permanent) visa is from date of eligibility (2 years after the 820/801 or 309/100 application is lodged) to finalization.

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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