The Australian Government has announced today, 7 May 2010 that it will suspend acceptance of new applications for certain General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas until 30 June, 2010. “The number of pending GSM applications continues to grow as the demand for GSM places exceeds the available supply. The temporary suspension is being implemented to ensure that the occupational profile of applicants for GSM clearly reflects the needs of the Australian labour market,” DIAC announces on its website.
Affected by the temporary suspension were those applying for Subclass 175 (Skilled Independent), Subclass 176 (Skilled Sponsored) and Subclass 475 (Skilled Regional Sponsored).
The Immigration Department hopes that the suspension will also facilitate the transition from the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) to the new SOL, which it will announce in May of this year.
Applications for affected visa subclasses submitted on or after 8 May 2010 will be considered invalid and the application will be returned to the client together with the Visa Application Charge (VAC). However, associated fees such as those incurred for medical examinations, English language tests and skills assessments cannot be refunded as these payments were not made to the Government.
Applications for visa subclasses affected by the temporary suspension will be able to be made once the suspension has been lifted. More information on this change and other initiatives affecting the GSM program is available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s website at:www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/whats-new.htm.