Australian Immigration and COVID
Applying onshore is an advantage
Travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine requirements remain active in Australia. Consequently, most visa holders cannot currently enter Australia, including Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491) and Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holders. This may explain why the Department of Home Affairs is prioritising onshore applicants.
At Visa Go Australia we have been particularly busy with multiple requests and visa grants for our onshore partner visa clients. Some of our clients have received their visas in just half the processing time stated on the Department website.
In addition to faster processing, some onshore applicants have first access to state nomination. Those applying for state nominated skilled visas (subclass 190 and 491) may have noticed that their options are very limited or non-existent if applying offshore. Many states have only reopened to onshore applicants and those nominating PMSOL occupations.
Working in a ‘priority’ occupation
The Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) identifies Australia’s current skill shortages; occupations which Australia needs to rebuild its economy post-COVID.
Those nominating PMSOL occupations are being priority processed by the Department. For example, we had a recent 190 visa grant for a client who applied as a qualified Midwife.
There are currently 18 occupations on the PMSOL, but these are subject to change and grow as Australia exits recession. Since the list was introduced in September, Social Worker (272511) has been added. The current list is made up of healthcare, IT and construction workers.
Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL):
- Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
- Construction Project Manager (133111)
- Mechanical Engineer (233512)
- General Practitioner (253111)
- Resident Medical Officer (253112)
- Psychiatrist (253411)
- Medical Practitioner nec (253999)
- Midwife (254111)
- Registered Nurse (Aged Care) (254412)
- Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) (254415)
- Registered Nurse (Medical) (254418)
- Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422)
- Registered Nurse (Perioperative) (254423)
- Registered Nurses nec (254499)
- Developer Programmer (261312)
- Software Engineer (261313)
- Social Worker (272511)
- Maintenance Planner (312911)
The above list is subject to change – we recommend checking the Department website for the current PMSOL.
Visas are still being processed
In our offices we have seen an abundance of visa grants over the past few months! These include partner, parent and skilled visa clients. Our migration agent Darren Chatt explains,
“I am advising my skilled clients to complete their skills assessment and English test so they are first in the queue for an invitation when the states re-open. Fortunately, most skills assessments and English test are valid for 2-3 years. The demand for skilled visas far outweighs the number of visas available, and it requires real patience, commitment, and knowledge to successfully complete the process. In my 19 years of practicing as a registered migration agent, this is certainly the most challenging time for applicants to secure a visa. However, the fact remains that Australia will need skilled migrants to rebuild their post-COVID economy and applicants need to present the strongest applications for when opportunities arise.”
The best way to secure a visa is to seek professional advice, to ensure you submit a complete application. Australia’s migration program is extensive and dynamic, which is why using an experienced migration agent can give you the best chance of emigrating.
Book a visa consultation today.