Each year visa planning levels are set by the government for the programme year which forms
the Migration Programme. The Migration Programme determines the maximum number of visas that can be granted in each visa category each year.
Priority processing arrangements apply to most skilled migration applications. These arrangements are set by a Ministerial Direction and determine the order in which we consider applications subject to meeting planning levels within the Migration Programme.
As the Migration Programme takes precedence over priority processing arrangements planning levels can affect the order in which applications are considered during the programme year.
State, Territory and Regional Nominated visa processing
The State, Territory and Regional Nominated category comprises applicants for a General Skilled Migration visa who are nominated by a State or Territory government agency or are family sponsored.
These visas include:
- Skilled Nominated subclass 190
- Skilled Regional Sponsored subclass 487
- Skilled Regional (Provisional) subclass 489
- Skilled Designated Area-sponsored (Provisional) subclass 496
- Skilled Sponsored subclass 886.
The total planning level for the State, Territory and Regional Nominated category is 28 850 visa places for the 2015-16 programme year.
The Assistant Minister set a cap for offshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas which takes effect on 22 September 2015. The following offshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas are affected:
- Skilled Independent (subclass 175)
- Skilled Sponsored (subclass 176)
- Skilled Regional Sponsored (subclass 475).
As such, unfinalised applications for these subclasses are taken not to have been made and the relevant visa application charge (VAC) will be refunded to affected applicants. More information is available about
Cap and Cease.
allocation dates for General Skilled Migration applications are available.