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On 28 October 2022, the Department of Home Affairs released the “New Direction 100 – Order of consideration – Certain Skilled Visas”

In the real world this is a direction straight from the Minister of Home Affairs setting out in which order/priority applications for Employer Sponsored or Nominated Applications will be processed from now on.

This includes applications for temporary Sponsorship Visas TSS 482 and the Regional Sponsored Visa 494, as well as the permanent Employer Nominated visa 186 and this was done in an effort to speed up processing times for employer visas, and thus assist increasingly frustrated Australian employers.

And they have good reasons to be frustrated: not only they have had to deal with a whole cohort of skilled workers disappearing from the country (after our borders were closed for almost 2 years during the pandemic) but they have now been dealing with an increasingly slow Department of Home Affairs throughout 2022.

So either employers can’t find skilled workers or when they can, their visas take so long to be processed that it becomes unviable hiring them.

With the change in government, we saw funds allocated to the Department solely to clear the backlog in visas and now the new order of consideration should help as well, as it applies to applications lodged from now on but also to those that were already pending a decision.

This is the new processing order for Australian Employer Visas

  1. Applications where the position offered is in Healthcare or Teaching;
  2. Applications lodged by Accredited Sponsors (if you are not one get in touch with us to you can obtain Accredited status)
  3. Application where the position offered is in a regional area(we’ve been having some speedy results here already!)
  4. All other applications.

Priority is also given to applicants located outside Australia, in an effort to bring skilled workers in as soon as possible and those who hold a Hong Kong passport.

So the Healthcare and Teaching industries have been given priority, but which occupations are included in this?

  • Child Care Centre Managers
  • Medical Scientists
  • Dietitians and Nutritionists;
  • Medical Diagnostic Radiographer, Medical Radiation Therapist, Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Sonographer;
  • Environmental Health Officer and Occupational Health and Safety Adviser;
  • Optometrist and Orthoptist;
  • Hospital, Industrial and Retail Pharmacist;
  • Health Promotion Officer, Orthotist or Prosthetist;
  • Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Complementary Health Therapists, Dental Practitioners, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists, Audiologists and Speech Pathologists / Therapists;
  • Midwives and Registered Nurses;
  • Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teachers, Primary School Teachers, Middle School Teachers, Secondary School Teachers and Special Education Teachers;
  • Ambulance Officers and Paramedics, Dental Hygienists, Technicians and Therapists, Diversional Therapists, Enrolled and Mothercraft Nurses, Indigenous Health Workers, Massage Therapists and Welfare Support Workers;
  • Counsellors, Psychologists and Social Workers;
  • Medical Technicians;
  • School Principal;
  • Care Workers.

What is the real time that it takes to get a Sponsorship Visa TSS approved if you are sponsoring a foreign worker?

The Department of Home Affairs publishes estimated processing times as such:

  • Applications in the Short-term Stream (those considered to be “not-so-in-demand”): 11 months from date of lodgement;
  • Applications in the Medium-term Stream (those considered to be “very-much-in-demand”): 6 months from date of lodgement.

In practice however, we have seen applications processed in less time: 1 month when positions offered are located in a regional area and the visa applicants are located outside of Australia, which is in line with the Order of Consideration.

But in usual Department of Home Affairs style, where things don’t seem to make a lot of sense a lot of times, we have also seen Short-Term Stream applications, where the position is not located in a Regional Area neither is in high demand, processed in 10 days.

Don’t throw a party to celebrate yet: although this is certainly a positive development, we don’t know for how long the Department will maintain this speedy processing going on, or if faster processing will remain consistent.

Two things that are important to note, when considering how fast you could get a foreign employee up and running:

  1. The Nomination application, except in cases where International Trade Obligations and some other few exceptions apply, will require the sponsoring employer to show evidence of having advertised the position on offer, in a certain way for a minimum period of time as prescribed by the Department of Home Affairs. This normally requires us to help employers advertise the position, even in cases where the employer has already been doing so, because the specifications for the ads are very stringent. The minimum period of time for advertising the position is 28 days, so you have to consider that.
  2. Fast processing, regardless of the order of processing, is maximised when a complete application is lodged. The examples I gave you above are real cases in which our firm prepared the application from start to finish and what is called a “decision-ready” application was lodged. We literally work to make the Case Officer’s life easier and in doing so, ensuring that your application is processed faster, as we know what information and documents they want to see and we send them what is required. Only an experienced and registered professional can make this happen.

Thank you for reading and if you have a sponsorship offer in Australia or you are an employer seeking to sponsor a foreign worker, please contact us for a free assessment.