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Processing Priority Group 5 applications

In August we published information on this blog about the processing of general skilled migration applications, and new information available on the department’s website to assist applicants.

The new webpage has been very popular, and it’s great to see it being used by people to check the progress of their visa applications.

That earlier post also explained why skilled migration applications are processed in a particular order (in technical terms, the order set by a Ministerial Direction on processing priority) and that we expected to see progress for applicants who had been waiting the longest for their visas to be processed.

Today’s update is to let you know that shortly we will begin to allocate applications in the Priority Group 5 category to case officers. The oldest applications made in Australia will be processed before those made outside of Australia. We have published detailed information about how the processing of these applications will happen on our website.

While we can’t tell every applicant exactly when their case will be allocated, this progress is positive news for all applicants. When your application is allocated to a case officer, the department will contact you. If you haven’t heard from us, you should keep checking the department’s website for updates to the allocation dates for general skilled migration visas.

The number of Priority Group 5 applications processed will depend on how many applications are lodged in higher priority groups and other factors including any change in the size of the Migration Program, so we can’t give you an exact timeframe when all applications will be processed.

Please continue to check the department’s website for information about the date of lodgement that applications are currently being allocated to case officers.

Comments (49)

Good to know the update. Thanks !!

Regarding our case was also on Group 5 , Prof Hairdresser , Subcalss 475 , since 16 Feb 2010 , its possible to finalized , please let us know

Hi Firdous

We don't usually post comments about specific cases, but other readers of this post may have similar questions. While we will be allocating Priority Group 5 cases shortly, we can't give timeframes about when specific applications will be finalised. This will depend on when you applied and also the number of applications received in higher priority groups.

The best thing to do is to check the department's website which is regularly updated with information about current allocation dates: www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/estimated-allocation-t...

This is great news for people who are waiting for years.
Thank you!

Finally, we see the hope... we have been waiting for the move for so long... Life is really tough without PR. Once it starts, we hope that the processing can be quick.

Great news anyway.

Finally! Oh, finally! Jeez!

Thanks, much appreciated info. Excited to know that things are finally happening for some of us.

this is a really good news.

Thanks Karin, you certainly made the day of many highly skilled and qualified applicants who will start or continue contributing in building this beautiful country! Thanks again!

Finally an update about Priority 5 applications progress. Thank you.

"A justice delayed is a justice denied"

Really, for the hundreds n thousands of people who are awaiting for their priority 5 application to be processed further, this is a great news and a sigh of relief.

I find that departments BLOG is a great service to the community, we applaud all their good effort!

Keep it up!

Thanks for the update. Really appreciating the recent updates on Immigration website which clearly indicates what is happening in the priority processing and related timelines. This gives a very clear picture for the applicant which makes him aware of what to expect exactly..

"The oldest applications made in Australia will be processed before those made outside of Australia."
what does the "oldest" mean here?
Onshore will be process before offshore or just a part?

all gourp 5 applcaitions will be processed based on the time lodged or there will be some other rules apply?

Really positive news for P5 applicants.Just want to know further that whether DIAC will process all Priority 5 onshore applicants first and then start with Offshore P5 applicants.Would greatly appreciate your answer.

It's really a good news for us that the processing of priority group 5 applications is begining. Applicants with school going children finding it hard to offset school fees will be very happy for that.

A lawyer (Mr. mcgrath) commented in a different forum that DIAC will first process onshore applications of group 5 before start processing offshore applications. I read the DIAC news article and could not come across such a news. Pls advice.

Thanks for Karin's update information.

What about sub class 880? It is not on list. Sub class 880 was appreaed on the processing time table on Aug.

Does anyone can tell if Sub class 880 will be processed?


Hi Candy

Processing of applications lodged in Australia (onshore applications) will commence with the group of applications lodged prior to 1 September 2007. Applications in this group include visa subclasses 880, 881, 882 and 862.

Oh really,
This is sigh of relief for many applicants. I am waiting since 52 months.I am under 496 subclass. According to the new update they will process this subclass first. I was asked to submit medical and PCC by my case officer in 2009. So I am excited to know some positive information. Really things are going towards a better tomorrow for the country and Her people.
This is very innovative step to start this blog. These blogs made things very good for all of us .....Better communication.
Good Luck to all and DIAC.
Special thanks to Karin.

Thanks Karin, I am waiting From 2009 On Bridge visa E can't even able to visit my ill friend overseas.

Thanks Karin for the update. I have been waiting for more than 3 years.

I am in Australia but I have applied offshore. Will that make any difference in terms of processing?



Zone, a few people have asked whether onshore applications are going to be processed before offshore applications. For those who aren't across this terminology, when we talk about offshore applications, we are talking about applications for visas in subclasses where a person can only be granted the visa if that person is outside of Australia (such as Subclasses 175, 176 and 475). Onshore applications are applications which have been made by the person in Australia for visas in subclasses where a person can only be granted the visa if the person is in Australia (for example Subclasses 885, 886, and 487). For the purposes of this distinction, it doesn't matter whether you are inside or outside Australia now.

Priority Group 5 applications will generally be processed in the order in which they were received in the onshore and offshore streams, though as we said our most recent update (www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/gsm-priority5-processi... ), we will begin allocating onshore cases first, offshore cases will follow once there are no higher priority cases available for allocation. The GSM processing centre updates the allocation page on the department's website every fortnight, and that is the best place to keep up to date on current allocation dates.

Thanks Karin for the update.

based on freedom of information, please advise how many Group 5 APPLICANTS are still waiting for a decistion. the website only provides the number of cases which may give people a mislead and false impression that their case will soon be looked at. the number of cases does not necessary reflect accrucately the size of the GROUP 5.


We are happy to provide statistics on the number of applicants waiting in Priority Group 5 (P5). We published the original figures based on cases waiting to be processed because this is consistent with the information we provide on our allocation page and better reflects the way that we manage the caseload.

Please remember that when a GSM application is allocated, each person included in that application (that is, both the primary applicant and their dependents) is assessed at the same time. In short, families that apply together are assessed together. As the department allocates cases rather than clients, the number of cases on-hand is the best measure of the caseload remaining in P5.

To answer your question though, as at 18 November, there were approximately 39,739 onshore and 37,317 offshore P5 applicants awaiting allocation.

useless information for G5

"The number of Priority Group 5 applications processed will depend on how many applications are lodged in higher priority groups and other factors including any change in the size of the Migration Program, so we can’t give you an exact timeframe when all applications will be processed."

What's the point to update this?


While we can’t give exact timeframes, the department is committed to providing as much information as we can for Priority Group 5 applicants. The reality is that future applications might have an impact on processing times - we want to be clear about this. The GSM processing centre’s fortnightly update of the allocation page and this most recent update are ways the department can let applicants know that we are making progress.

I have waited for 33 months for my application to be finalised, I certainly look forward to see some REAL progress in group 5 application processing

Hi Karin, Thank you for the update.

Regarding the processing of Cat 5 applications, can we get some kind of a narrowed down timeline as to when the commencement will start. In my view 'shortly' could be anytime between now & Jun 30th, 2012.

We are already reaching the end of the 2nd quarter of this program year 2011-12, so the question really is whether the commencement will happen in the first or second half of Quarter 3 or 4 (Jan-Feb-Mar Or Apr-May-Jun). This will really narrow the timeline and possibly answer the same question all cat 5 applicants have.

After a long wait, its only fair that the DIAC give us some specific timeline, I do not believe that we are asking for too much.

Thanks in advance for your response.


Processing of Priority Group 5 cases will commence shortly, but we need to stress that regardless of when we commence allocating Priority Group 5 cases, future applications in higher priority groups will have an impact on processing times. It is impossible to predict how many applications in higher categories will apply, which is why we can't and haven't provided specific timeframes.

The skilled migration program is run to benefit Australia, and where there have been many more applications for skilled migration than there are places available in the program, it has been necessary to prioritise the processing of applications. We appreciate the wait has been frustrating, and the department is committed to providing as much information as we can. This most recent update provided by the GSM processing centre is positive news, and you should continue to check the website to monitor allocation dates.

Though it's difficult to know how long is the 'long wait', we really appreciate the process is resuming. Some of us have been waiting precariously as well as paying costive school tuition fees for their kids for years, can see the silver lining.

However, this blog gives us useful information of what's actually happening.



hi , I am asking if it is possible for DIAC to introduce DRC when the processing of Group 5 applications begins?

Hi - there are no plans to introduce the Decision Ready Checklist.

Hello Cat 5 family, this is such a big family being part of it i feel proud of you guys who making difference in this country by contributing money and hard work.
Thanks DIAC for the update on CAT 5, we love numbers times and dates, so please provide some more relevant info about that.
Would we all 39,739 be processed any idea how long it will take for Sep 2008 applicants.

Thanks again
Kindest regards

Thanks Karin for your clarification about allocation of Priority 5 applicants.Now as we all know DIAC is planning to introduce EOI system from july 2012 and the applicants need to submit an EOI first and then issued with an invitation before lodging a visa application, unless eligible for transitional arrangements.Given the first round of invitations expected to occur in January 2013 will DIAC continue with the processing of Priority Group 5 applications in until first round of invitations.

Hi Sam

There will be two concurrent processing procedures in place when SkillSelect is introduced on 1 July 2012.

If you lodged a visa application prior to 1 July 2012, the department will process this application in accordance with any priority processing direction in effect at the time your visa application is processed.

After 1 July 2012, if you want to lodge a visa application for independent skilled, family sponsored, business skills or state/territory sponsored skilled programs you will need to submit an EOI using SkillSelect and receive an invitation in order to apply for a visa.

To clarify, the first round of invitations for SkillSelect will be sent on 1 August 2012.

But DIAC website says that they will send first round of invitation in Jan 2013. But here DIAC officer says it will be on 1 Aug 2012. Which date is correct Jan 2013 or 1 Aug 2012??

Hi Param,

We can confirm that the first round of Independent invitations for SkillSelect will be issued on 1 August 2012. It is yet to be determined when the first Business Skills or State Sponsored invitations will occur, however this is proposed to be in July/August 2012. The website will be updated shortly to reflect this information.

Thank you for your question.

Thanks Karin for updates

Question about process
"Allocating onshore cases first, offshore cases follow once no higher priority cases available for allocation"

Based on the skills needed in Australia, what's the discrepancy between on-shore and off-shore prioritised as the same group 5 in terms of commencement of process?

Thanks Kerin for giving information about processing of Group 5 applications going to start shortly. This news has a great relief for the applicants and their parents who are under great depression since their applications are held without processing. We sincerely thanks the DIAC and the whole DIAC Staff & the Minister for paying huge attention to the Group 5 applicants.
Can u please give us tentative date for on shore VB885 class visa applicatns.

Special Thanks Kerin



thank you for coming up with this forum wherein we can learn recent updates especially for cat 5 case loads. I, too, am one of the thousand of applicants waiting to be processed under the tail-end of the processing priority since the sept 23, 2009 changes in processing priority took effect.

Though the current development makes me a little bit upbeat on the way diac is progressing towards cat 5 cases, i'm still apprehensive on the diac's strategy to process first the onshore applicants rather than based on the order of lodgement dates. For me, this processing approach, intentionally or otherwise, puts sub categories within cat 5 (sub category 1-onshore cat 5 applicants and sub category 2 - offshore applicants) which i believe should not be the case to level the playing fields. does this mean category 6 is now in the cooking pan?

thank you and good day.


Thanks Rogelio

It might be helpful to provide background on the operational aspects of these processing arrangements. Offshore and onshore GSM visas are processed by different teams in Adelaide and Brisbane. Cases are allocated each week to the teams according to the Processing Direction and the available stock of higher priority cases for the onshore teams is lower than that for the offshore teams. This means the onshore teams will be allocated Priority 5 cases before the offshore teams. Offshore applications in Priority 3 and 4 will continue to be considered well ahead of onshore Priority 5 applications.

Hi Karin ,
In DIAC allocation date webpage , they say they are allocating g4 onshore application lodged before 30june 2011,on the other hand in 23 nov update they say they already allocated around 700 application lodge in between 1 July and 18 nov. So which one is correct ?? I think they would be around September if they already allocate 700 out of 1400 . ??

while on this topic, can you tell me if I can apply for visit visa while waiting for the my skilled migration visa?

Im a priority 5 and still not allocated to a case officer ( since 2009).I however, want to travel to australia this new year for family visit. Can i apply or will there be some problem?!

in fact there nothing change for offshore applicant... offshore applicant will have to wait eternally for diac to clear category 3 and 4..
we all know that there are always people applying for these category everyday....
for offshore applicant ...even if they wait for 10 years again... diac will not care at all...
its already written on their post.. some applicant will have to wait very long again..... and those applicant are offshore.. paying the same fees of application like onshore one... and offshore applicant is already waiting for 4 years now.....
keep faith offshore mates!!!!!! may be we will it will be our turn in 10 years......

Hey Karin,
I had applied for my permanent residency sponsored by my sister while i was in Sydney, but i had applied for an offshore visa while i was in Australia, i was just wondering whether my application would commence prior to those applied outside Australia or even it would be treated as a mere offshore application n will be processed after onshore ones??
thanks heaps karin, ur helps invaluable.


Sorry, forgot to ask a question, if possible could u please tell me how many applications are pending prior to march 2009 in priority group 5, both onshore n offshore, as i had applied in march 2009, so i would like to figure out where does my application stand, just to make an estimate about the wait and also as it is said by the department that the processing time is indefinite, does it mean it can even take 5-10 years?? if you could please bring some light on it??
Thanks once again, i cant thank you enough for the information in advance.

Thanks KARIN.

Hi Kavin,

Based on My underestanding, DIAC starts processing of G5 Onshore Applications which made before September 2007, then Offshore applications before September 2007 and then what would happen? I mean would DIAC processe On-Shore Application made in 2008 and then when they get finished starting OFF-Shore Applicastions for 2008 and continue like that?

If that is the case, would you mind letting us how many cases made per year?