The government of Australia announced on Friday 7 May that certain categories of general skilled migration visas will be suspended from 8 May until further notice.

The aim of the suspension is to ensure that all offshore general skilled applications made after today are in accordance with the occupations included on the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL), to be released later this month.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has not indicated when the suspension will be lifted; however it will be no earlier than the announcement of the new SOL. The Minister has announced that his Department will not accept applications for the following visa subclasses from 8 May 2010 until further notice:

• Subclass 175 – Skilled Independent;
• Subclass 176 – Skilled Sponsored; and
• Subclass 475 – Skilled Regional Sponsored.

Therefore, any applications received by the Department after 8 May 2010 for one of the above visa subclasses will be returned and the visa application charge refunded

Contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL immigration specialist for advice on Australian immigration or visit our Australia country profile here for more information.