Under a Ministerial Direction that becomes effective on the 1 July 2011 the processing priorities for permanent residency skilled visas are:
- Applications for Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) and Subclass 887
- Applications for Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
- Applicants nominated by a state / territory government and nominated skilled occupation is on the relevant State Migration Plan (SMP)
- Applications with a nominated skilled occupation on the 2011 Schedule 1 Skilled Occupation List (SOL)
- All other applications.
The effect of processing priorities is that applications with a higher priority are generally processed faster. For example DIAC estimates that the majority of RSMS applications which are priority 1. are being processes in 5-8 months, while some GSM visas in priority 5. are currently not progressing and can take several years.
At a practical level, the processing priorities mean, that if you qualify for an Employer Sponsored Visa, it may lead to permanent residency much faster that other visa options.
Source on processing time estimates:
Contact Work Visa Lawyers if you want to know more about Employer Sponsored Visas.