Federal Minister's Announcement on GSM Visas

8 February 2010

On 8 February 2010, the Federal Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, announced the following changes to the General Skilled Migration(GSM) program:

  • the outcomes of a review of the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL)
  • the replacement of the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) in the second half of 2010
  • offshore GSM visas made before 1 September 2007 would be capped and ceased
  • priority processing arrangements
  • skills assessment requirements for GSM applicants nominating a trade occupation.

State Sponsorship and State Migration Plans

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has indicated that, once the replacement SOL is introduced, state and territory governments may be able to sponsor applicants who have nominated an occupation in demand in individual states and territories. This includes occupations not included on the SOL replacement.

These occupations will be identified in Victoria’s State Migration Plan. The Victorian Government is currently developing its state migration plan, which must be approved by the Federal Minister for Immigration, and information about the plan will be available on this website when it is finalised. As at 8 February 2010, the Minister for Immigration has not approved any state migration plans.

In the meantime, please continue to refer to Victoria’s Eligibility Lists for occupations that are eligible for visa sponsorship from the Victorian Government. These occupations attract priority processing as follows:

  • Third priority – if included on the Commonwealth Critical Skills List
  • Fifth Priority – if not included on the Commonwealth Critical Skills List.

Applicants with occupations that are not included on the Commonwealth Critical Skills List, or Victoria’s Eligibility Lists, should consider employer sponsorship visas under the Employer Nomination Scheme or the Regional Skilled Migration Scheme.

International Students

Changes made to the GSM program affecting International Students can be viewed in a fact sheet detailing frequently asked questions from DIAC's website.

More information is available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's website