The Department’s Order of Consideration for Visa Applications

Australia’s Immigration Minister can provide ‘Directions’ on how visa applications should be processed. Last year, Minister Alan Tudge introduced three ‘Directions’ in relation to the order of priority for processing visa applications.

Direction 87 stipulates the processing priority for certain skilled migration visa applications.

The list of visa subclasses is as follows, with the highest priority listed first:

  1. Employer Sponsored visa or Regional Sponsored visa in relation to an occupation specified in the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List OR;
    • the applicant is nominated by an employer who is a party to a Global Talent Employer Sponsored Agreement or identified through the Global Talent Program OR;
    • Subclass 188 visa applications in the Significant Investor stream followed by all other Subclass 188 visa applications. 
  2. Nominated occupation is within a Critical Sector
  3. Employer Sponsored visa or a Regional Sponsored visa where the employer is a party to a labour agreement under a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA)
  4. Subclass 494 (Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)) visa
  5. Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)) visa
  6. Visa applications for an Employer sponsored visa
  7. Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa
  8. Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional)) visa
  9. Subclass 190 (Skilled – Nominated) visa
  10. Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa in the Points-tested stream
  11. All other visa applications.

For numbers 3 – 7, priority will be given to onshore applications ahead of offshore applications.

Direction 88 provides instructions on the order of priority for Temporary Skills Shortage (subclass 482) visa applications and Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa applications.

The list is as follows, in order of highest to lowest priority:

  1. Occupation is specified in the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List OR;
    • the visa application lodged is in relation to a Global Talent Employer Sponsored Agreement or identified through the Global Talent Program.
  2. Nominated occupation is within a Critical Sector.
  3. Associated nomination is for an occupation to be carried out in regional Australia.
  4. Associated nomination is by approved sponsors with Accredited Status which does not fall in one of the above categories.
  5. Associated nomination for a TSS visa is by an employer who is party to a labour agreement where the labour agreement was made under a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) and does not fall in one of the above categories.
  6. Applicant seeks to satisfy the criteria for grant in the Labour Agreement stream and does not fall in one of the above categories.
  7. All other visa applications lodged under the Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa program, including Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa applications.

For numbers 3 – 7, priority will be given to onshore applications ahead of offshore applications.

Direction 90 states the order of priority for lodged applications for the Distinguished Talent (subclass 124) visa and the Global Talent (subclass 858) visa. Please note the subclass 124 visa is closed to new applications and as of 27 February 2021, the distinguished talent visa became the global talent visa. Global Talent visa applications are given the highest priority if they meet the following requirements:

  • Applications are made in relation to a specific sector* and
  • An Australian employer provides a written offer of employment with a salary equivalent to or higher than the Fair Work high income threshold  (currently AU$153,600) or
  • The applicant’s current earnings are equal to or greater than the Fair Work high income threshold or
  • The Applicant is likely to attract a salary that is equal to or greater than the Fair Work high income threshold

The Sectors are as follows:

  • Resources
  • Agri-food and AgTech
  • Energy
  • Health industries
  • Defence, advanced manufacturing and space
  • Circular economy
  • Digitech
  • Infrastructure and tourism
  • Financial services and FinTech
  • Education

Have more specific questions about your visa? Get in touch with Migration Affairs today.

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