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Published on May 8th, 2010 | by


Australian government suspends skilled migration programme

Thousands of would-be skilled migrants are today in limbo as the Australian government has suspended its skilled migration programme.

In an unexpected move, the Australian Department of Immigration (DIAC) announced an immediate suspension in applications for the Subclass 175 – Skilled Independent; Subclass 176 – Skilled Sponsored; and Subclass 475 – Skilled Regional Sponsored visas.

A statement issued by the Australian Department of Immigration said the demand for general skilled migration places exceeded the available supply.
“The temporary suspension will ensure that the occupational profile of applicants for General Skilled Migration clearly reflects the needs of the Australian labour market,” the statement detailed.The temporary suspension will also facilitate the transition from the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) to the new SOL. It is anticipated that the Government will announce proposed changes to the SOL in May 2010.”

Announcing the suspension, Immigration Minister Chris Evans said certain skilled migrants would have their applications for visas suspended until the government announced its new skilled occupation list. As of midnight on the 7th May, Australia is not accepting any new applications under these programmes, pending the release of a new skills list, which will be sometime in May.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the suspension would hit regional Australia the hardest.”To turn off the tap for regional skills is very concerning,” he said. ”We remain very sceptical of what this list will mean for trade skills, and the hospitality sector and regional areas. They are all very anxious.”

The press release can be read here

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