Visas for teachers and healthcare workers are now being assessed within days after the Australian government changed the way it prioritizes skilled visa applications.

Australia is now processing skilled immigration visas for teacher and healthcare professionals at an exceptionally fast pace since the Department of Home Affairs has stopped using the (PMSOL) Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List to rank applications for skilled immigration visas since it was considered outdated and was no longer an adequate method to reflect the critical workforce shortages seen across Australia.

In 2020 the list that was introduced showed 44 occupations on the wider (SMOL) Skilled Migration Occupation List to fast-track during the recovery period after the COVID-19 pandemic, and its use was discontinued this year on October 28th.

Some of the occupations that are included in this list are as follows:

  • Engineers

  • Chefs

  • Accountants

  • Psychiatrists

  • Programmers

  • Pharmacists

The list also includes healthcare workers such as nurses and doctors however it does not include teachers.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, more emphasis is being placed on visas in the health care and educational sectors due to the new Ministerial Direction No. 100, which is responsible for directing department staff to perform certain actions is currently prioritizing people in these occupations above others.

A spokesperson for the department had previously stated to the SBS news that “These applications are now being assessed in three days,”.

The changes that are to be made will be implemented on all skilled visa nomination and visa applications that are both yet to be decided, as well as new applications lodged including temporary, employer-sponsored, and regional visas.

Moreover, It also aims to remove priority for global talent and business innovation and investment programs.

The occupations that are now being prioritized are as follows:

  • School teachers

  • Health and welfare support workers

  • Childcare center managers

  • Medical scientists

  • Counselors

  • Psychologists

  • Social workers and medical technicians.

New order of priority for skilled visa applications

With the changes being made by the new ministerial direction, the applications for skilled visas are now being decided under the following order of priority:

1. Healthcare or teaching occupation applications.

2. For employer-sponsored visas, applicants are nominated by an Approved sponsor who has Accredited Status.

3. Those for a designated regional area.

4. For permanent and provisional visa subclasses, visa applications that count towards the migration program, excluding the Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)) visa.

5. All other visa applications.

Among the above-mentioned categories, more priority will be given to candidates who hold eligible passports since not all visa streams are open to every nationality.

Also, applicants from each category who are outside Australia are given more priority for Provisional and permanent skilled visa applications.

The new criteria will be implemented on the following skilled visas:

  • Subclass 124 (Distinguished Talent)

  • Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme)

  • Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme)

  • Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment) (Provisional)

  • Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent)

  • Subclass 190 (Skilled – Nominated)

  • Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional))

  • Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled))

  • Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage)

  • Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional))

  • Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional))

  • Subclass 494 (Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional))

  • Subclass 858 (Global Talent)

  • Subclass 887 (Skilled – Regional)

  • Subclass 888 (Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent).

Faster processing for visa applications

It was previously stated by a spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs that the former PMSOL system was a “time-consuming and complex assessment” which was only used because of the travel restrictions that were implemented during the pandemic causing visa backlogs to rise.

Abdul Rizvi, the former secretary of the Department of Immigration has also agreed that these changes would make processing quicker as they are now targeting occupations from a much wider range”.

“There’s no point in having a priority list when you’re targeting just about every occupation,” he said.

Moreover, he also supported the focus on teachers and healthcare workers under his claim that regardless the government would still struggle to get enough applications.

Aside from this, it is estimated that Australia will be making many more changes to its immigration system in the future along with the federal government promising to further assess and improve the effectiveness of skilled migration occupation lists.

Furthermore, the government has also announced that it will be performing a comprehensive review of Australia’s migration along with three experts who are expected to deliver an interim report by the end of February, and a final strategy by late March/April.

Martin Parkson the former top public servant and one of the experts conducting the review has also previously acknowledged that streamlining the assessment process could prove to be very beneficial to Australia.

Teachers and Nurses who wish to come to Australia now might have a chance to get a visa 'Visas in three days for teachers and nurses who want to come to Australia

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