Australian State Pauses Acceptance of Skilled Visa Nomination Applications

The government of Victoria has temporarily stopped accepting visa applications because it is assessing requests received until May 15, 2018.


The Australian state of Victoria has stopped accepting new applications for nominations for skilled visas so as to “manage current demands,” SBS Punjabi news reported.

There was a “very high volume” of applications for visa nominations for skilled migrants, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources of the state government said in a statement. “To help us manage this demand, and meet our service commitments to you, we are not accepting any new Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) or Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) nomination applications at this time,” the statement added.

This is a temporary closure as the department is currently assessing applications that it received until May 15 of this year. There may be delays on decisions on these applications as well, it added.

The business and investor visa nomination applications will not be affected by this temporary closure.

There has been no indication of the time frame that can be expected for the temporary closure of visa nomination applications to be lifted. The department has asked prospective applicants to check its website for information on the reopening of applications in the coming weeks.

The government  of Queensland has also temporarily suspended issuing of invitations for skilled applications till July 2018. Once the backlog for the applications is cleared, applicants will have to lodge a new Expression of Interest (EOI) in July for skilled state nomination, the Business and Skilled Migration Queensland stated.

Australian states and territories run their own migration programs to meet their skill and labor requirements, which in turn, enables them to sponsor applicants for different visa programs such as skilled visas. A visa nomination from a state carries additional points towards an applicant’s eligibility for points-based migration.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Home Affairs officials confirmed that the country’s migration intake is well within the 190,000 annual cap, with use of more rigorous visa checks through linked security databases, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. The intake was 183,608 people in the 2016-17 year and stood at 138,086 as of April 30, 2018, top bureaucrats said during Senate estimates hearing on May 22.

The 138,086 intake was made up of 91,302 visas in skilled migration, while 44,193 were family visas and 2,591 were children.

Visa applications in skilled migration, family and children categories were more complex than they used to be, partly because technology was increasing the amount of international data that could indicate risks to particular applicants, the Home Affairs officials said. “As we connect what were formerly standalone, isolated immigration integrity risk systems to intelligence databases … as you couple more databases onto your checking mechanism, you get more what are known as ‘hits’ in our trade. They have to be resolved,” Michael Pezzullo, head of the Home Affairs department, was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

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