A new Ministerial Direction for prioritising skilled visa applications came into effect on 28 October 2022. Ministerial Direction No.100 formalises the Australian Government’s processing priorities for the health and education sectors. It builds on ongoing work to improve skilled visa processing times and to clear visa backlogs.

The Department of Home Affairs has finalised over 2,780,000 visas since 1 June 2022. This includes over 43,000 temporary skilled applications and over 47,000 permanent skilled visa applications. These delivery numbers have only been possible because there are 260 more staff working on visa processing than there were at the start of May 2022.

Ministerial Direction No 100:

  • Prioritises applications in relation to healthcare and teaching occupations, as well as offshore permanent and provisional applications.
  • Helps small businesses seeking to recruit overseas workers. It speeds up processing for all occupations and makes the process less complicated. This change will allow more applications to be processed faster, particularly for the critical Temporary Skill Shortage visa, which is designed to respond quickly to labour market needs.
  • Restores priority for Accredited Sponsors in all sectors who are trusted employers and key businesses that drive economic productivity. Efficient processing of these applications allows the Department to have more capacity to handle other applications as well
  • Ceases the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) and critical sectors.
  • The PMSOL was outdated and no longer reflected the critical workforce shortages seen across Australia.
  • Applications with occupations that were on the PMSOL or in critical sectors will continue to be processed efficiently given the improvements in visa processing since the Government committed additional funding and staff to reduce processing times.
  • ​Sectors that had occupations on the PMSOL also had numerous occupations that weren’t on the PMSOL. These occupations will now be able to be processed faster, resulting in a better service overall.
  • Reduces the number of priorities, which will increase efficiencies and assist in reducing processing times across caseloads. It allows the Department to consider applications which were not prioritised under the previous Direction, while progressing steady volumes of incoming visa applications.
    • The reduction in the number of priorities includes removing priority for the Global Talent and Business Innovation and Investment Programs. Visa applications for these programs will still be processed efficiently in line with planning levels made under the annual Migration Program.

The new priorities apply to all skilled visa nomination and visa applications that are yet to be decided, as well as new applications lodged.

The Department’s website has been updated with the new processing priorities, including a full list of the visa subclasses subject to Ministerial Direction No. 100.

See: Skilled visa processing priorities (homeaffairs.gov.au)