Australian government may limit some skilled sponsored visas this year

by Ray Clancy on May 1, 2012

in Australia Immigration

Permanent migration programme influenced by current economic climate

It may be necessary to limit the allocation of visa applications in the skilled Australian sponsored categories this year because there are only a few places remaining in this visa category, officials have confirmed.

Every year the Australian Government sets the number of places, otherwise known as planning levels, in the permanent migration programme. The number of places allocated takes into account the current economic climate and feedback from consultations with the Australian community.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has pointed out that it may be necessary to vary levels in response to economic and other factors.

Within the skill stream of the permanent migration programme there are a number of different visa categories targeted to meet the diverse needs of Australia’s labour market. The government also allocates annually a set number of visa places to each of the following categories: skilled independent, skilled Australian sponsored, employer sponsored and state and territory sponsored.

‘Delivering the migration programme requires careful management. This is where it’s important to understand the relationship between the planning levels and priority processing arrangements for skilled migration visa applications,’ said a DIAC spokesman.

‘Priority processing is a tool, available to government, to assist managing the order in which applications are granted. Visa applications are placed in one of five priority processing groups,’ he explained.

Applications in priority group one are allocated before applications in priority group two, and so on, until the set planning level for each specific skilled visa category is met.

‘In the situation where set annual planning levels are met in a particular skilled migration category within a 12 month period, the department is obliged to temporarily suspend allocating applications in this category until the next programme year, irrespective of where applicants are placed in the priority processing direction,’ the spokesman pointed out.

He confirmed that in the 2011/2012 programme year there has been a lower number of applications lodged under a state migration plan, priority group three, than anticipated when government originally set the planning levels.

‘To meet the set levels for this part of the programme we have allocated some of the priority group five applications in greater numbers,’ he explained.

‘These are the priority group five applications that were lodged by onshore and offshore applicants who were nominated by a state or territory government before state migration plans were introduced. These applications are placed in priority group five as they do not have a nominated occupation on the skilled occupation list,’ he added.

Visa applicants are encouraged to regularly check the department’s website as the allocation dates for skilled visa applications are updated fortnightly.

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