Due to the forthcoming Regional visas changes there has been considerable disruptions in the Skilled Regional visa program. Since the start of the new financial year all states and territories have received their allocations of nominated places for the 2019-2020 and started allocations distribution according to their unique needs. However, due to the significant demand and the rush of applications before the nomination cutoff date, these allocations are getting exhausted very quickly. The limited availability and the processing timelines in the lead up to the closure of the Skilled Regional visas are impacting applicants’ ability to receive nomination approvals and apply for old type Regional visas.
The Department of Home Affairs has announced the transitional arrangements for the closure of the Skilled Regional visa program. However, different state, territory and regional authorities may have their own distinct procedures in the lead up to the cut-off date.
Skilled Regional Visa Program
- 10 September 2019 – Last day to be nominated and receive an invitation to apply for a visa. Last day to submit an Expression of Interest.
- 15 November 2019 – Last day to submit an application for a visa.
- 16 November 2019 – Program closure. Existing holders of Provisional Skilled Regional visas can still apply for old type Permanent Skilled Regional visas.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
- 15 November 2019 – Last day to submit an application for a RSMS Direct Entry stream visa.
- 16 November 2019 – RSMS Temporary Residence Transition stream visa applications can still be lodged if the nominee is either:
- a holder of Temporary Work (Skilled) visa , or
- a holder of Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.
- 16 November 2019 – RSMS nominations lodged before 16 November 2019 are taken to be withdrawn if:
- nomination has not been approved or has been refused before 16 November 2019; and
- nominee is not a holder of Temporary Work (Skilled) or TSS visa; and
- nominee has not lodged a RSMS visa application before 16 November 2019
Skilled Regional and RSMS visa applications that were lodged prior to the 16 November 2019 will continue to be processed as usual after the cut off date. Immigration assistance with the new visas and the transitional arrangements can be provided by registered migration agents if and when required.