In an unexpected move, the Australian Government has announced it will not accept applications for offshore general skilled migration, effective midnight AEST 7 May, until the end of the current program year on 30 June, 2010.
The temporary suspension applies to all primary applicants for the following Australian visas: Subclass 175 – Skilled Independent; Subclass 176 – Skilled Sponsored; and Subclass 475 – Skilled Regional Sponsored.
Applications for these Australian visa subclasses submitted on or after 8 May, 2010, will be considered invalid and the application will be returned to the client along with the Visa Application Charge although all associated fees, for example fees incurred for medical examinations, cannot be refunded.
Those who have already submitted a valid application, online or by mail, before midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) on 7 May will have their application processed as normal and in accordance with the priority processing arrangements. […]