Outrage has erupted at the recent decision to implement a Cap and Cease order by the Australian government. This means that certain applicants who have been patiently waiting in a queue for their visa – some for up to 7 years – have suddenly had their Australian visa hopes pulled from under them.
This ‘Cap and Cease’ order came into effect on the 22nd of September 2015 and affects those who have applied for a Subclasses 175, 176, or 475 Visa which has not yet been approved.
A ‘cap’ on visa applications occurs when the Department has set how many visa applications of a certain subclass may be granted in a financial year. A ‘Cap and Cease’ means that the Department will cease processing applications for that visa once the cap is reached.
The cap set by the Australian government for the current financial year has already been reached, meaning that no further visa applications will be processed under these subclasses. It also means that those visa applications that were not processed prior to the Cap and Cease are now treated as never having been made. As a result, the Department has announced that they will be refunding application fees, the processing time for refunds being approximately 15 weeks.
While not being granted a visa is disappointing, for many, their primary concern is the passing of time. While they waited for their visas, applicants aged, meaning their eligibility for some other visas may now have passed. Being older also means you will achieve less points on the points test for skilled visa, making it more difficult for some to apply for new different visa. Around 30,000 applicants have been affected by the policy, with many now considering their next move.
If you have been affected by the Cap and Cease policy, contact one of our migration agents urgently to commence assessment for an alternative options on (07) 3229 4025 – our experienced lawyers are well-versed in novel visa solutions and you may not have time to waste!