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Priorities of the Australian Visa Program

After what seemed like a long wait during the lockdown in Australia, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has sent us some nomination and visa approvals.  The wait was stressful for our clients and some were worried that a change in immigration policy would adversely impact their application.

Well, we usually come through alright and we were happy to receive the approvals. Informing a client they have been approved is the fun part of this job!

Open to Business Migration Applicants

Our States and Territories are now open for business.  The flavour of the month is all about giving priority to Australian visa applicants who can help in our economic recovery and response to the Covid pandemic.

The message from Victoria reveals the current trend in immigration policy:

“The Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs has provided the Victorian Government with an interim allocation of visa nomination places for the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) up until the Federal Budget on 6 October. The limited number of places are to be used to address the state’s economic recovery and health response to the pandemic.

The Commonwealth Government will advise after the Federal Budget what additional state nomination visa places will be allocated to the Victorian Government for the remainder of the 2020-21 program year.”

The notice posted by Tasmania is revealing.  Until the 2020-21 Federal Budget is handed down in October:

“The Department of Home Affairs has directed that …, all nominations must be justifiable in relation to their likely contribution to Australia’s economic recovery, and follow three priorities:

  1. High quality subclass 188 and 132 …. applications.
  2. Applicants critical to supporting Tasmania’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including individuals providing critical or specialist medical services, critical skills required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services, or delivering services in sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery.
  3. Applicants currently in Australia who can demonstrate their capacity to meaningfully contribute to economic recovery.

What does this mean for applicants?

All new and existing nomination applications will be considered according to these priorities, with those in critical roles being nominated first.

Existing applicants who are not in critical roles will be considered only after priority applications for critical roles have been processed.

Decisions on non-critical role applications may not be available until October or later. Only those applicants with the most compelling claims will be nominated.”

As you can see, these are the priorities if you have applied or are ready to apply in September.

Expect the same priorities in October.  We are preparing our clients for State and Territory Government policies formulated around investment for economic recovery and creating employment, construction, health care, new ways of delivering services, and managing the Covid pandemic.  The pandemic has hit a “reset button” in Australia.

Skill and Employment Visa Applicants

To complete the picture, we advise that DHA has published a list of occupations that will receive priority processing.  The Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) happily benefits those who have applied and those who will apply in the near future.

The 17 occupations currently on the PMSOL are:

  • Chief Executive or Managing Director
  • Construction Project Manager
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • General Practitioner
  • Resident Medical Officer
  • Psychiatrist
  • Medical Practitioner
  • Midwife
  • Registered Nurse (Aged Care)
  • Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency)
  • Registered Nurse (Medical)
  • Registered Nurse (Mental Health)
  • Registered Nurse (Perioperative)
  • Registered Nurses (All)
  • Developer Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • Maintenance Planner


It is easy to receive the assistance of an Australian immigration lawyer by filling out the online assessment form on this website.  You will receive a password secured account with access to a confidential portal for you to provide us with your documents and information.  All the information you give us is protected by solicitor-client professional privilege and kept confidential.

The process of obtaining an Australian visa is based on merit and has become competitive, well prepared applications succeed.  Our professional online service can be accessed from anywhere in the world and enables you to take your first step towards making Australia your home.


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