As per the Department of Home Affairs of the Australian government, the expected processing times for a Skilled Independent visa [subclass 189] is currently 24 months, that is, for 90% of the applications submitted.
Around 75% of the Australian subclass visa can be expected to be processed within 20 months.
|Subclass 189 is an Australian visa that allows the invited workers – that have the requisite skills – to live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.|
A General Skilled Migration [GSM] visa, the subclass 189 comes under Australia’s Skilled Migration Program.
According to Direction No. 87 Order of Consideration – Certain Skilled Migration visas, “Australia’s Skilled Migration Program is designed to select people who will make a positive contribution to the Australian economy and labour market, and assist Australian businesses to access workers with skills that cannot be met from the local labour market, including in emerging new technology and growth sectors.”
Direction No. 87 lays down the priority processing directions for certain GSM visas.
The processing times for GSM visa applications is subject to both priority processing arrangements as well as migration program planning levels. Both these factors taken together impact affect the processing times for individual applications.
According to a Freedom of Information Request [FA 20/11/00395], Australia’s Department of Home Affairs is “currently processing applications in accordance with Direction No. 87”, that is, “applications from applicants with a nominated occupation within a Critical Sector are currently receiving priority”.
Here, by a “critical sector” is implied either an industry in itself or a part of an industry that has been identified by the DHA as being of critical importance during the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic recovery of Australia.
With priority processing being provided to certain visa applications, “the processing time for existing applications will be affected by the number of higher priority applications that are subsequently lodged”.
|Applying for Australia’s subclass 189 visa is by invitation only.|
So far, a total of 990 invitations have been issued for the Skilled Independent visa [subclass 189] during the 2020-2021 program year – 500 [in July], 110 [in August], 350 [September], and 30 [in October].
The program year runs from July until June.
With the processing times for subclass being impacted by Directive No. 87 – date of commencement September 1, 2020 and still in effect – general applicants are recommended to apply well in advance so as to avoid delays.
|Basic 5-step process for applying to subclass 189 visa for Australia|
|STEP 1 – Checking whether occupation is on the skilled occupation list, if securing the required 65 points, and also establishing eligibility.|
|STEP 2: Submission of an Expression of Interest profile with Australia SkillSelect.|
|STEP 3: Awaiting an Invitation to Apply for this visa.|
|STEP 4: Gathering all the required documentation.|
|STEP 5: Applying for the visa within 60 days of receiving the invitation.|
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