GSM Processing Update - 14 February 2011

By Mark Webster
15 February 2011

The Department of Immigration has issued an advice that certain GSM (General Skilled Migration) applicants should initiate health and police checks for their applications. This is a sign that processing is moving forward on the backlog of GSM applications in the system - currently there are some 130,000 applicants in the GSM pipeline.

The Minister for Immigration announced processing priority levels applying to GSM applications from August 2010. Under this system, all applicants in priority group 2 and some applicants in priority group 3 are advised to undertake health and character checks.

Applications Where Health and Character Should be Obtained

Only certain applicants should commence health and character checks. These are as follows:
  • Applicants nominated under a State Migration Plan (Priority Group 2 - both onshore and offshore subclasses)
  • Offshore applicants with an occupation on the new SOL who have lodged prior to 30 June 2010 (Priority Group 3 - subclasses 175, 176 and 475)
  • Onshore applicants with an occupation on the new SOL who have lodged prior to 30 September 2010 (Priority Group 3 - subclasses 885, 886 and 487)

Applicants from high risk countries where security clearances are known to be slow (eg Pakistan, Iran) may be best to delay obtaining clearances until requested, as the security clearances can take 6 months or more.

Likely Processing Time for Priority Applications

The advice from the Department of Immigration is that applications in the above categories are likely to be processed within the validity of the health and character checks. Health and character are typically valid for 12 months, so this would mean that the above cases are likely to be processed within this timeframe.

Applications Where Health and Character Should Not Yet Be Undertaken

People who do not fall within these categories are advised not to proceed with health and police checks. This would include Priority Group 3 applications lodged after the specified dates, and all Priority Group 4 (ie where the occupation is not on the new SOL, or where the nomination is not under a State Migration Plan). The only indication we have about allocation of these cases is that it is likely to be in the 2011-12 Program Year (ie after 1 July 2011).

Feel free to contact us if you need assistance with your GSM application.

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