Australia speeds up visa processing time for certain workers

Government promises turnaround time of 3 days

Australia speeds up visa processing time for certain workers

Visa processing times for educators and healthcare workers can now take as fast as three days as confirmed by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.

A spokesperson from the department confirmed to SBS News that visa applications for health and education sector workers "are now being assessed in three days.”

The confirmation follows the recently issued Ministerial Direction No. 100, which puts visa applications in relation to a healthcare or teaching occupation as top priority. Roles covered include:

  • Health Professionals
  • School Teachers
  • School Teachers
  • Health and Welfare Support Workers
  • Child Care Centre Managers
  • Medical Scientists
  • Counsellors
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Medical Technicians
  • School Principal
  • Child Care Worker
  • Aged or Disabled Carer
  • Nursing Support Worker
  • Personal Care Assistant

After visa applications related to healthcare or teaching occupations, the new direction will also process visa applications in the following order:

  1. For employer-sponsored visas, visa applications where the applicant is nominated by an approved sponsor with accredited status.
  2. Visa applications in relation to an occupation to be carried out in a designated regional area.
  3. For permanent and provisional visa subclasses, visa applications that count towards the migration program, excluding the Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)) visa.
  4. All other visa applications.​

"For all categories above, priority will be given to holders of eligible passports," the direction said. "Within each category above, for provisional and permanent skilled visa applications, priority is given to visa applications where the primary applicant is located outside Australia at the time the visa application is made.​"

PMSOL system cancelled

The new ministerial direction came after the government stopped using the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) this year.

The PMSOL identifies the occupations which fill critical skills needs to support Australia's recovery from COVID-19, according to the government. However, the list was ceased on October 28, 2022.

"The PMSOL and critical sectors implemented in September 2020 involved time-consuming and complex assessments," a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs told SmartCompany in a statement.

"These were only necessary while travel restrictions were in place and contributed to the backlog of skilled visa applications."


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