Immigration News: October 2022

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In October, the Australian Government published a Ministerial Direction for prioritising skilled visa applications. The government also announced streamlined requirements for temporary visa applicants in Australia.

1. Skilled visa processing priorities

A new Ministerial Direction for prioritising skilled visa applications came into effect on 28 October 2022.

In line with the Direction, the Australian Government will prioritise skilled visa applications for the health and education sectors and offshore permanent and provisional applications. It’ll apply to all skilled visa nominations and applications yet to be decided and new applications lodged.

The aim is to improve skilled visa processing times and clear visa backlogs. Shorter processing times will benefit visa applicants and assist small businesses with critical labour shortages it has to fill quickly.

The Direction also restores priority to Accredited Sponsors and signals the end of the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) and critical sectors.

“The PMSOL was outdated and no longer reflected the critical workforce shortages seen across Australia,” said the Australian Government in a statement. “Applications with occupations that were on the PMSOL or in critical sectors will continue to be processed efficiently given the improvements in visa processing since the Government committed additional funding and staff to reduce processing times,” the government added.

2. Streamlined requirements for temporary visa applicants in Australia

​The Australian Government announced that it is streamlining requirements for temporary visa applicants in Australia.

Going forward, only some eligible visa applicants must undertake relevant medical examinations and/or chest x-rays.

That will include visa applicants that:

  • have applied for a medical treatment, temporary protection or a provisional visa,
  • expect to incur medical costs or require medical treatment,
  • intend to work as (or study to be) a doctor, dentist, nurse or paramedic,
  • will enter a hospital, aged or disability care facility (if there is a higher tuberculosis risk),
  • are pregnant and intending to have the baby in Australia,
  • will work or train at an Australian childcare centre,
  • are aged over 75 years (if applying for a visitor visa),
  • have had previous household contact with tuberculosis, or
  • are requested to do so by the Department of Home Affairs

Other temporary visa applicants in Australia are not required to undertake medical examinations and chest x-rays to meet the health requirement.

These arrangements apply to the following visas:

  • 401 Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity)
  • 403 Temporary Work (International Relations)
  • 405 Investor Retirement
  • 407 Training
  • 408 Temporary Activity
  • 410 Retirement
  • 417 and 462 Working Holiday
  • 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary)
  • 476 Skilled – Recognised Graduate
  • 482 Temporary Skill Shortage
  • 485 Temporary Graduate
  • 500 Students
  • 590 Student Guardian
  • 600 Visitor
  • 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary)
  • 995 Diplomatic (Temporary)

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