No more 489 visas to be granted till July 2014
In February, 2014 the Department of Immigration announced; due to a large number of applications there will be a limit of 15 invitations for subclass 489 - Skilled Regional (Provisional) (Sponsored) visas until further notice. This change was implemented from the 24 February 2014 invitation round.
Recently however, there have been a few people who have received emails/letters that state that the program places have been filled for the year and there is no clear answer as to when their visas will be granted.
This will mean processing times may be longer and if/ when the remaining places are used, the department cannot grant any application until the following program year, unless more visa places become available.
Various expat forums are full of discussions as to what is happening and the reason for this extended delay especially since recently the 489 processing time on the Department website was reduced to 3 months from the previous 6 months.
There has been no clear update regarding this matter on the department website and the people waiting for their 489 grants seem to stuck in a limbo of not knowing if and when their visas will be granted. Invitations will still continue to proceed as scheduled however actual visa grants have been stopped till the end of the financial year.
It appears that the department has exhausted its quota for these visas, there will be no more visas granted till 1st July, 2014 and there may be indefinite delays in 489 visas being granted.