CAPPED AND CEASED: VISAS 175, 176 AND 475

 CAPPED AND CEASED: VISAS 175, 176 AND 475

The Australian Government has invoked the ‘Cap and Cease’ clause to certain visa subclasses in the General Skilled Migration (GSM) category. This means that all visas that have not been finalised before September 22, 2015, will be termed null and void.

If you have applied for an offshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa to live and work in Australia, and if you’ve been waiting to hear back on your visa status, news has just come out that your visa application most likely has been ‘capped and ceased’.

This means that as per September 22, 2015, if you have not heard back from the visa office about your application, it is deemed that you have never applied in the first place. This has been brought into effect because all the places that can be granted for the year 2015-16 have already been filled. All applications that have not been finalised before September 22 are taken not to have been made.

This applies to the following visas:

  • Skilled Independent (subclass 175)
  • Skilled Sponsored (subclass176)
  • Skilled Regional Sponsored (subclass 475)

If your application is affected by this Cap and Cease determination, you or your authorised recipient will receive a notification.

Repayment of visa application charges is possible, but to get your visa application charges back, you will need to fill a form called Form 1424 – Refund Request. You will need to fill parts of the form and produce all necessary supporting documents that will ensure a speedy return of your funds.

The repayment will happen in 15 weeks upon receiving the form, and the processing time will depend on many unforeseeable factors such as the number of clients requesting a full refund, the repayment method chosen, data verification procedures etc.

This decision has resulted in a large wave of anger from existing visa applicants who have been waiting for months, sometimes years, to hear back from the Australian Government. All migration agents that are in operation in Australia also have voiced their protest to this decision.

Gaurav Malhotra

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