Patchwork Quilt


It is necessary to know about this patchwork quilt as there are still many of visas dating from early 2012 and before are still being processed and are working their way through the system. From 1 July 2012 to the present, the skilled visa regime has become a patchwork quilt, with many of the patches jarring.  Obviously the nexus between studying in Australia and obtaining permanent residence via a skilled is over (except for some points granted for Australian study.

The patchwork quilt starts with thousands of visa applicants who had applied for offshore skilled visas before 1 September 2007 who now find themselves unlikely to ever get a visa.  The government has offered to give them their application fees back and that is probably the best they can hope for.  The only ones exempt from this are the old Subclass 495 – Skilled – Independent Regional (Provisional) applicants.  It was possible to apply for this visa offshore and some of those applications are still being processed.

Otherwise the key dates are 8 February 2010.  Anyone who had applied for or who held a subclass 485 Skilled  Graduate visa is subject to the regime in existence as at that date and those persons had until 31 December 2012 to apply for a permanent residence skilled visa onshore being the subclasses 885 and 886 visas.

Further those who held eligible student visas (ie visas leading to an award of a trade qualification or degree or diploma) on 8 February 2010 were eligible to apply for the subclass 485 Skilled Graduate visa on the broad SOL up until 31 December 2012, but otherwise got no special privileges regarding permanent residence.

There would be some students who had not yet applied for the subclass 485 Skilled  Graduate visa on 8 February 2012 who nonetheless would be eligible to apply for the 885 and 886 skilled visas and they have a special truncated Skilled Occupation List as their threshold criteria.  However for them the access to the subclass 885 and 886 visas closed on 31 December 2012.

Barbara Davidson