Skilled migration visa processing times

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The tables below detail the indicative processing times for skilled migration visas.

We aim to process 75 per cent of applications within the timeframes detailed below. It should be noted that individual actual processing times will vary depending on a range of factors.
See:Service standards

The department also publishes information listing the lodgement dates of applications that have been or will soon be allocated to case officers.
See:Allocation Dates for General Skilled Migration Applications

Processing priority groups and order of processing

Priority processing arrangements apply to skilled migration applications. They determine the order in which the department considers applications. Applications accorded a higher priority under the arrangements will be processed ahead of lower priority applications, regardless of when the application is lodged.

The following table details processing priorities for skilled migration applications.
Note: The highest priority is listed first. SkillSelect applications (187, 186, 190 and 489) will be the highest priority in each group.

Priority Group NumberApplication Type
1Applications under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).
2Applications under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS).
3Nominated by a state or territory government agency for an occupation specified on that agency’s State Migration Plan (SMP).

Order of processing will be:
  1. applications lodged from 1 July 2012 through SkillSelect (subclass 190 and 489 applications)
  2. applications in this priority for other General Skilled Migration (GSM) subclasses (subclass 487 and 886 applications).

Applications with nominated occupations on the Skilled Occupation List Schedule 1.
See: Skilled Occupation List

Order of processing will be:

  1. applications lodged from 1 July 2012 through SkillSelect (subclass 189 and 489 applications)
  2. applications within this priority for other GSM subclasses (subclass 487, 885 and 886 applications).
5All other applications.

Processing times – skilled migration applications affected by processing priorities

The below table describes the average processing times for skilled migration visa subclasses.

Priority Group NumberVisa SubclassProcessing Time
RSMS (subclass 187)6 months
ENS (subclass 186) 6 months
(subclass 475, 487, 886)
12 months
SkillSelect SMP
(subclass 190 and 489)
3 months
4Nominated Occupation on the SOL – Schedule 1
(subclass 495, 496, 861, 862, 863, 880, 881, 882, 883, 885 and 487 if not SMP)
18 months
SkillSelect Independent and Family Sponsored
(subclass 189 and 489)
3 months
5All visas listed in priority 3 and 4 that are not SMP or Nominated Occupation on the SOL – Schedule 1Assessment will commence when all cases in priority groups 1-4 are finalised

Processing times – skilled migration applications exempt from processing priorities

The following visa subclasses are exempt from priority processing. These subclasses are processed in the order in which they are received.

Visa SubclassProcessing Time
4767 months
489 Subsequent entrant/ Renewal6 months
8876 months
120, 855Low risk – 5 months
High risk – 8 months

Definition – low/high risk

The terms 'Low risk' and 'High risk' show whether passport holders are eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). Low risk applies to nationals from countries which issue ETA eligible passports. A list of these can be found on the department's website. High risk countries are those which are not ETA eligible.
See: ETA Eligible Passports

More information on worker category visas is available.
See: Workers

More information on SkillSelect visas is available.