DIAC released news regarding the backlog of old 475, 487, 176 and 886 applications. It seems they are going to give them Priority to Group 3 status if they are using the State Nomination criteria for these visas. There is no mention of those who are using the Relative sponsored variant of the these visa's such as the Designated Area Relative for the 487 visa and the Relative sponsorship for the 886 visa.
You can read the DIAC announcement here.
Currently DIAC is only mentioning those who have approval from a State or Territory for the government sponsorship schemes in place back then. They are requesting applicants send some evidence that they are aware that the state has approved their sponsorship application by either;
Copy of completed Form 1100 by the State/Territory or,
Any written evidence of approval notification from the State.
Now usually applicants do not receive a copy of the Form 1100 that the State/Territory authorized body send to DIAC, that is an internal matter they themselves handle. However if you do have a copy then by all means send it to DIAC.
Most of you will have some letter of approval or even an email from the authorized body notifying you that you have been successful in your sponsorship application. In reality DIAC should already have that on your file but just to give them something to do, send it again to the email address provided.
Sponsorship Crisis raised in Volume 222 on the 17th July 2012
Does this mean that the sponsorship crisis as were the first to raise in the public arena is over? The good news that it would see that it is for two major reasons;
Firstly it was only those who had issues with their sponsorship nominations that were relegated to Priority Group 5 to give DIAC time to think about its policy. If our group of clients are any example, every other applicant who had their Form 1100 forward to DIAC promptly by the sponsoring authority, has already gained their 487 visa.
Secondly; DIAC is now confirming that as long as your occupation was on the Skilled Occupation List at the time you applied, then they will accept the nomination by the state/territory. This is reversal of DIAC's policy of not accepting the nominations because the new SMP SOL's did not include the old occupations nominated.
Now there is some resolution to this issue let us hope DIAC keeps to the promise this announcement holds on processes most of the old visa application before the 31st of March. Touch wood.