acacia_logo

Cuts to Skilled Migration Announced

by Mark Webster 17/03/2009

Reduction to 2008-09 GSM Planning Level
The Minister for Immigration, Chris Evans, announced a reduction of the skilled intake for the 2008-09 program year from 133,500 to 115,000 on 16 March 2009.

This represents a reduction of 14% for the overall skilled intake. The skilled intake includes General Skilled Migration (GSM), Employer Nomination, Business Migration and Distinguished Talent visas.

As the reduction will only affect the GSM program, this means a 27% reduction to GSM and a return to a similar GSM program size as for 2007-08 (see chart below).

It is quite possible that a further reduction will be made for the upcoming 2009-10 planning year, and the new level should be set in the leadup to the Commonwealth Budget in May 2009.

Employer Sponsored
Total GSM
Distinguished Talent
Business Skills
Total Skill
2006-07 Outcome
16590
75280
230
5840
97920
2007-08 Outcome
23760
78000
210
6570
108540
Original 2008-09 Planning
28000
98310
200
7000
133500
New 2008-09 Planning levels
36000
71500
200
7500
117000

Change in Processing PrioritiesThe Minister announced a change to processing priorities for GSM applications in January 2009. The new order of processing is as follows:

1. Employer Sponsorship (eg ENS, RSMS)
2. State Nomination (ie Skilled Sponsored & Regional Sponsored)
3. Critical Skills List (CSL) occupations
4. Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) occupations
5. All other occupations

The new priority means that for GSM applications, all state nominated applications will be allocated for processing before other applications.

Once all state nominated applications are allocated, then CSL applications will be allocated.

At the time of writing, DIAC is only allocating state nominated and CSL applications - processing times for other applications are unpredictable and could be well in excess of 12 months.

Frequently Asked Questions:
- Processing times
- State nomination
- Critical skills list