Australian immigration temporarily suspends General Skilled Migration visas

As per the advice by the Department of Immigration’s official website, the number of pending applications for GSM(General Skilled Migration) visas has been growing even as the demand for GSM occupations is greater than its supply. Temporary suspension of the GSM visas by Australian immigration is being done to make sure that the occupational skills of various applicants for such visas in accordance with the needs of the Australian job market.

The temporary suspension by Australian immigration will include these Australian visas—

Subclass 475— Skilled Regional Sponsored;

Subclass 175— Skilled Independent; and

Subclass 176—Skilled Sponsored visas.

Hence, as per the latest announcement by Australian immigration department, any applications for the above mentioned subclasses of Australian visas submitted after 7th May, 2010 will be held as invalid and will be returned back to the concerned applicant and the Visa Application Charge will also be returned back.

However, any associate fees submitted by applicants for getting Australian visas like fee on medical exams will not be returned back.

Announcing the decision, Australian immigration minister Chris Evans stated that the suspension for certain skilled migrants wanting to immigrate to Australia will be in effect until the new skilled occupation list(SOL) is announced by Australian immigration.

The new SOL was expected to be announced in April 2010. However, the Federal Government has been quite slow in announcing the revised SOL which is likely to reduce the ability of students to live in Australia if they don’t choose to work in Australia in the same field which was selected by them for study in Australia.

Regional Australia will be the worst hit hardest by the suspension of Australian skilled migration program since it’s already finding it hard to find sufficient workforce, said Scott Morrison, Opposition immigration spokesperson.

Morrison added that the list of the industries in regional areas to be hit by the suspension is quite vast including the hospitality sector, agriculture sector (especially food processing industry), motor mechanics and so on.

Meanwhile, Senator Evans clarified that the yesterday’s suspension of skilled migration visas will not affect overseas students seeking visas for onshore skilled migration.