Decision Ready Checklists (DRC)

by Mark Webster, Acacia Immigration Australia, 28 October 2010
Updated 15/11/2010

Migration Agents are able to obtain more efficient processing by using Decision Ready Checklists.

This facility is only available to applications where the client is using a Registered Migration Agent.

At the moment, Decision Ready Checklists are available for onshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) applications and Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) applications.

General Skilled Migration

Not all GSM applications can be speeded up by using a Decision Ready Checklist. Only the following people can use the facility:
  • You must have lodged an onshore application (ie as an international student completing 2 years of study in Australia, or a working holiday maker applying for a skilled regional graduate visa)
  • The application must have been lodged electronically and be processed by the Brisbane Skilled Processing Center
  • All documents relevant for making a decision on the application must have been uploaded to the Department of Immigration online attachment system
At the moment, the facility is only available if your occupation is on the new Skilled Occupations List (SOL). However, when the new State Migration Plans are announced, it will also be possible to use a Decision Ready Checklist if you have been sponsored by a state or territory government.

The following subclasses can be speeded up considerably by using a Decision Ready Checklist:

Cases are often allocated and granted within a couple of weeks when using a Decision Ready Checklist, versus an indicative processing time of 12-18 months otherwise.

There is a Decision Ready Checklist for Skilled Graduate Subclass 485 visa applicants, but the improvement in processing time for these applications is not as marked as for the other subclasses.

Update 15 November 2010

After the introduction of the Victorian State Migration Plan on 3 November, the Department of Immigration announced that the Decision Ready Checklist process would be available only to people sponsored by state or territory governments in the short term.

As a result, it is no longer possible for us to lodge a Decision Ready Checklist for GSM applicants who have an occupation on the new Skilled Occupations List, unless they are sponsored by a state or territory government.

It is not clear how long these arrangements will be in effect, but we will notify when these change.

Employer Nomination Scheme and Regional Skilled Migration Scheme

A Decision Ready Checklist system is also available for employer sponsored permanent visas (ENS and RSMS).

The Decision Ready Checklist must be provided when the application is lodged. Unlike the GSM system, it is not possible to provide additional documentation after lodgement of the application and still have the application considered under a Decision Ready Checklist arrangement.

In addition, only applications which have been lodged after 11 October 2010 are eligible for use of the facility.

The improvement in processing time for ENS/RSMS applications is also significant when using a Decision Ready Checklist. ENS/RSMS applications have been taking 6 months or more, but with a Decision Ready Checklist, they can be allocated and processed within a month.

Why are Decision Ready Checklists only Available to Registered Migration Agents?

The Decision Ready Checklist system is not available to people who apply for visas without the assistance of a Registered Migration Agent.

The reason for this is that Registered Migration Agents are trained to know what documents are required for the Department of Immigration to make a decision on your case. You may require documents which are not included on the Decision Ready Checklist, depending on your circumstances.

If an agent submits a Decision Ready Checklist for a case which does not have all the required documents, they will get one strike against them. Once they have 3 strikes, they can no longer access the Decision Ready Checklist facility.

Acacia's Experience and Getting Help with your Application

At Acacia Immigration, we have been working in the GSM and ENS/RSMS field for over 10 years and have an excellent record of getting our cases approved with excellent processing times.

You can rely on us to advise you what documents are required for your case, and getting your application through the system significantly faster than if you lodge by yourself.

If you have already lodged your application for an onshore GSM visa, then it is possible for us to review your case and lodge a Decision Ready Checklist on your behalf.

However, if you have already lodged your ENS or RSMS application, it is not possible for us to lodge a Decision Ready Checklist for you as this must be done at the date of application.

Please contact us to make an appointment to discuss using a Decision Ready Checklist for your case.

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