What is the change? The Australian Government has said it will stop accepting priority processing requests for Temporary Skill Shortage visa (Subclass 482) and Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (Subclass 457) applications.

What does the change mean? Employers will no longer be able to request priority processing based on business need, project requirement, Australian interests or other factors. Employers who had intended to make a request for priority processing should adjust their time lines as needed.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary Skill Shortage visas (Subclass 482) and Temporary Work (Skilled) visas (Subclass 457).
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals applying for TSS visas or with a pending TSS or Subclass 457 visa application.
  • Impact on processing times: The exact impact on processing will depend how the applications will be prioritised under the applicable Ministerial Direction. Officials said they will prioritise TSS visa applications as follows: applications lodged by accredited sponsors, applications lodged for positions in regional Australia, applications lodged under the Labour Agreement stream, all other applications.
  • Business impact: Companies affected by the change may need to adjust time lines and employee start dates.

Background: The Department of Home Affairs announced the change in its monthly Skilled Visa newsletter, saying the measure was undertaken in part because the Department had received a high volume of priority processing requests, limiting its resources for its standard processing. The Department also said it will prioritise Subclass 457 applications that were lodged before TSS visas replaced Subclass 457 visas in March.

BAL Analysis: The change could have a significant impact on employers who had planned to request priority processing for pending or future visa applications. Applicants who were told before 5 September that their application would be given priority will still be eligible for priority processing. Those whose requests were pending as of 5 September will not be given priority. There is no indication that priority processing will be reintroduced. Employers may wish to apply for accredited sponsorship if they have not done so already in order to have applications prioritised. BAL is able to assist in this process.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Australia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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