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Australian Skilled Migration – Old subclasses 175 and 176 capped and ceased

Posted on September  23 , 2015

Applicants for Australian  visas subclasses 175, 176 and 475  visas (which closed in 2012) whose applications have not been granted will have their applications ceased.

Australia’s Assistant Minister of Immigration set a cap for offshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas which took effect yesterday (22 September 2015). The following  offshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas are affected:

  • Skilled Independent (subclass 175)
  • Skilled Sponsored (subclass 176)
  • Skilled Regional Sponsored (subclass 475).

The cap sets the maximum number of places that can be granted in the 2015–16 financial year for these visa subclasses. This total has already been reached. Therefore, applications for these visas that were not finalised before 22 September 2015 are taken not to have been made and the relevant visa application charge will be repaid to affected applicants.

Note that applicants who are in Australia will continue to be processed, as will applicants for onshore 885, 886 and 487 visas. Most 175 Skilled Independent applications have already been allocated and granted, and the most significant effect will be on those applicants sponsored by family members. This underscores Australia’s current government’s policy to limit the number of family sponsored migrants.

Applicants affected by the cap and cease will be contacted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department).  Applicants for onshore visas will be contacted by the Department when their applications are processed.

Applications for refund of Australian government visa fees can be made by filling in a refund request form. 

Source:  Acacia Immigration; Australian Govt Dept of Immigration and Border Protection