As you will be aware, over the last year, demand for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and Residence from Work sub-streams (RFW) has risen significantly. This has resulted in an increase in visa processing times as applications take longer to be allocated to an immigration officer for assessment.

Alongside this overall increase of on-hand applications, the volume of priority applications has also increased, largely due to the growth of Residence from Work applications.

To better manage the queue of applications going forward, the Deputy Chief Executive – Immigration, has issued new general instructions to immigration officers, updating the priority criteria for processing Skilled Migrant Category and Residence from Work Category visa applications.

From 24 February 2020 the allocation order for SMC and RFW applications will be:

  1. Applicants with current occupational registration where registration is required by immigration instructions or with an hourly rate equivalent to or higher than twice the median wage (currently $51 per hour); then
  2. All other SMC and RFW applications in lodgement date order.

Applicants under the Talent (Accredited Employer) residence instructions will no longer be prioritised, unless they are either highly paid, or in an occupation requiring registration.


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