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Visa processing times

​​​​​​​Skilled visa processing priorities

​​​​​Processing priorities for skilled migration visa applications

Skilled migration visa applications are processed according to government policy priorities, which are outlined in the Ministerial Directions.

The following skilled migration visas are subject to Ministerial Directions and include:

  • Subclass 124 (Distinguished Talent)
  • Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme)
  • Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme)
  • Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment)
  • Subclass 189 (Skilled - Independent) (Points-tested Stream)
  • Subclass 190 (Skilled - Nominated)
  • Subclass 489 (Skilled - Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 494 (Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional))
  • Subclass 858 (Global Talent)

In order of priority, processing of the above skilled migration visa applications are determined by:​

  1. Any of the following: 
    • Employer Sponsored where the nominated occupation is specified in the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
    • Employer Sponsored where there is an approved nomination for an Agriculture Sector Occupation
    • The applicant is nominated by an employer under a Global Talent Employer Sponsored Agreement
    • All applications identified through the Global Talent Program
    • Applications for the Subclass 188 visa in the following order:
      1. Subclass 188 visa applications in the Significant Investor stream
      2. All other Subclass 188 visa applications.
  2. Where there is an approved nomination for an occupation within a Critical Sector not mentioned in (1)
  3. Employer Sponsored by an employer who is a party to a labour agreement under a Designated Area Migration Agreement
  4. Subclass 494 (Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)), ​with priority where the applicant is nominated by an approved sponsor with Accredited Status or nominated by a labour agreement not mentioned in priority (1)
  5. Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)) and Subclass 190 (Skilled - Nominated)
  6. Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme), with priority where the applicant is nominated by an approved sponsor with Accredited Status, or nominated by a party to a labour agreement not mentioned in priority (1) or (2) or (3) above ​ 
  7. Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme), with priority where the applicant is nominated by an approved sponsor with Accredited Status
  8. Subclass 489 (Skilled - Regional (Provisional)) 
  9. Subclass 189 (Skilled - Independent) in the Points-tested stream 
  10. All other visa applications that are subject to this Direction.

For all categories above, priority will be given to holders of eligible passports.

​Processing priorities for skilled temporary visa applications

Skilled temporary visa applications are processed according to government policy priorities, which are outlined in the Ministerial Directions.

The following skilled temporary visas are subject to Ministerial Directions and include:

  • Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage)
  • Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)).

In order of priority, processing of the above skilled temporary visa applications are determined by:​

  1. Any of the following: 
    • Nominated occupations specified in the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
    • Nominations lodged in relation to a Global Talent Employer Sponsored Agreement
    • Where there is an approved nomination in relation to an Agricultural Sector Occupation.
  2. Where there is an approved nomination​ for an occupation in a Critical Sector​ not mentioned in (1)
  3. Where there is an approved nomination for an occupation to be carried out in regional Australia, where the following have priority:
  4. Applicants who are nominated by approved sponsors with Accredited Status not mentioned in priority (1) or (2) or (3) above 
  5. Nominations lodged by a Party to a Labour Agreement not mentioned in priority (1), (2) or (3) above
  6. All other nominations lodged under the Subclass 482​ (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa program, including Subclass 457​ (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa applications. 

For all categories above, priority will be given to holders of eligible passports. ​​

Critical Sector definition

Critical sectors are defined as:

  • Critical or specialist medical services sectors
  • Sectors essential to maintaining the supply of essential goods and services, including
    • Medical technology
    • Critical infrastructure
    • Telecommunications
    • Engineering
    • Mining
    • Supply chain logistics
    • Aged care
    • Agriculture
    • Primary industry
    • Food production, and
    • The maritime industry.
  • Sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery, such as
    • Financial technology
    • Large scale manufacturing
    • Film, media and television production, and
    • Emerging technology.
  • Religious or theology sectors
  • A nominee whose entry would otherwise be in Australia’s national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority.​​

Processing priorities for other skilled visa applications

All other skilled visa applications are assessed in order of date of lodgement.

Visa application lodgement requirements

To assist in processing, it is important to lodge a complete application and provide all supporting documents as soon as possible. We may not ask you for further documents before making a decision on your visa application.

  • If you have applied for your visa in ImmiAccount, the checklists provided will help you in making sure you include all required documents in your application.
  • If you did not apply for your visa in ImmiAccount, please refer to the relevant webpage for your visa subclass. You must ensure you have included all documents listed in the Gather your documents section under Step by Step instructions.​​

Processing times

For more information see global processing times.​