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Cap and Cease for 175, 176 and 475 visas now in effect

All visa applicants who have been patiently waiting in a queue for the Skilled Independent subclass 175, Skilled Sponsored subclass 176 and Skilled Regional Sponsored subclass 475 are now subject to cap and cease.

Cap and Cease starts today 22 September 2015 and the total has already been reached.

Any applications for these visas which were not finalised before today are taken not to have been made. 

The DIBP will be repaying the charges back to the applicants.

It will take about 15 weeks for the DIBP to return the funds.

For more information please see this link:

Migration Alliance, our RMA members and our clients are outraged at this decision.  One particular agent, Robert Chelliah would like to share his sentiments below:

I am disappointed that MIA merely transmits, like as postman, this questionable  gazetted notification from the Department without a squeak of concern from MIA. The Minister may have exercised his lawful power to  gazette that “in these subclasses will be taken not to have been made and will have their full visa application charges refunded.”.

On behalf of MIA members, who have to answer to their very disappointed clients, is this a just and a fair treatment to clients who have been waiting for 7 years or more with some hope. It is utter disgraceful that the professional body  has chosen just to act as a obedient acquiescing body  to the department. This I consider is unjust, inequitable, abuse of Ministerial power for failing to give proper consideration to members of the public and its Agents within the  concept of “offer and acceptance” once a valid application has been made. I suggest that the MIA seek proper advise on seeking redress on this abusive and unjust treatment of clients who had made a valid application with a assurance of proper resolution to the application.

On behalf of many RMA and their clients I expect the MIA, as a leading professional Body, to explore how the Minister can be  called not to abuse his power by hiding behind lawful power to gazette.

I expect MIA, and hopefully the MA, to make public protest on this.

Migration Alliance stands strongly in opposition to this decision by the DIBP.

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  • Liana - Allan
    Liana - Allan Tuesday, 22 September 2015

    Email received from an RMA which I think is important to share (minus their identifiers):

    I emailed MIA yesterday but no response (as usual).
    The notice is issued under s85. However the explanatory notes refer to s39(2). The policy for s85 confirms that this section doesn't cease applications, while s39(2) does but it's not cited in the notice. I was wondering if you could have a look at this ? It appears the notice and explanatory notes are not consistent.

    Reply Cancel
  • Guest
    David Stephens Thursday, 24 September 2015

    Section 39 is stated in a letter I have seen. However, s39 should not be used to cap-and-cease an application in processing.

    Section 39 specifically states "any outstanding applications for the grant in that year ...are taken not to have been made. "

    The applications ceased were NOT applications for grant in this year. They were not processed to grant stage. There is no legal authority for the Minister to cease applications if they are not for grant in this year.

  • Guest
    Rehana Khan Thursday, 24 September 2015

    Me David Stephens, Your feed back seems like a lifesaver. i am a 176 FS applicant who is suffering because of this Cap and Cease order, do you think we have a chance if we decide to appeal against this order or maybe take then to court, there are many of us in this mess and we are ready to take action, spend money and time, plus we all have our family as Australian sponsors who are ready to be in our fight for fair chance at grants.
    Do we have a chance and how do we contact you? thanks -

  • Guest
    naima muhammad Thursday, 24 September 2015

    sir my medical and police clearance all did in june2014. i was pregnant at that time after delivery i send my new born baby documents to dep. on 1 oct 2014.after that dep. did not ask for anything whole year and did not give me answer.sir after 7 years of my case today i got mail that my case can no longer be considered as i applied on subclass175 skilled.sir i completed my documentation in 2014 then why whole 1 year gone.please tell me what is my is unjustice i have 3 daughters and i spend alot of money about 12000 aus dollar. who is responsible for that. i am jobless now and my only hope is with this case. please help me out how can i appeal.

  • Guest
    WL Thursday, 24 September 2015

    Hahaha - no surprise anymore

  • Guest
    Rometh Thursday, 24 September 2015

    Australian Government is spending million of rupees on advertisement in Sri Lanka. What they basically saying is, don't try to come in Australia in illegal way (basically by boats) but there are many legal and authentic ways to be a Australian citizen. I applied Australian visa in 2009 under the subclass 475 (my first cousin is an Australian Citizen) and today i received e-mail saying that my application will never be considered. I have been waiting 7 years for this. How can this be a just decision?

  • Guest
    gm Thursday, 24 September 2015

    I agreed with mr rkc.If in last every applicant have honoured like this then there is no sense of paying to a RMA that doesnt predict outcome of his clients' application.

  • Guest
    gm Thursday, 24 September 2015

    Service is not inly getting bucks but also defend ur clients from unusual suffering.

  • Guest
    James Hall Saturday, 26 September 2015

    After initial concerns with the separation of s85 and s39, I believe the notice is correct and legal.

    Section 39 states:
    Section 39 Criterion limiting number of visas
    (1) In spite of section 14 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003, a prescribed criterion for visas of a class, other than protection visas, may be the criterion that the grant of the visa would not cause the number of visas of that class granted in a particular financial year to exceed whatever number is fixed by the Minister, by legislative instrument, as the maximum number of such visas that may be granted in that year (however the criterion is expressed).

    This criterion does exist and therefore as per s39(2) the cap and cease does have effect.

    Refer to 176.229:
    Grant of the visa would not result in either:
    (a) the number of Subclass 176 visas granted in a financial year exceeding the maximum number of Subclass 176 visas, as determined by the Minister in an instrument in writing for this paragraph, that may be granted in that financial year; or

  • Guest
    James Hall Saturday, 26 September 2015

    A correction. For the above it's actually 176.229(b) not (a) as quoted above because (a) refers to subclass, and (b) refers to the class (as required under s39(1))

    176.229 (b) the number of visas of particular classes (including Subclass 176) granted in a financial year exceeding the maximum number of visas of those classes, as determined by the Minister in an instrument in writing for this paragraph, that may be granted in that financial year.

  • Guest
    yong Lee Sunday, 27 September 2015

    What about human rights of a person waiting for 7 years ?
    What about rights of Australian Citizens waiting for 7 years to reunite with their relatives.
    On the other hand 20K refugees without skills and without any blood realtives are welcome and going to fast processed. I think the department trying to allocate 175/176/475 visa classes to the refugees. This is huge concern there are so many human right organizations raising voice for these refugees. What about the genuine skill workers waiting for 7 years.

  • Guest
    Abida Sunday, 27 September 2015

    We came to Australia in 2008 in student visa, then I came to know that I'm eligible to apply for PR application showing my job in my home country. I started proceedings amd applied on 26 Feb, 2009. The application was accepted as valid one. We invested our valuable time and money here, got two kids, another one's due date is this October 1st week. I got the last mail this year May that DIBP is going to finalize priority 5 applications within next year July, as we waited for long and kept patience. Now, for 2 last two days witj that mail, I'm totally devastated!

  • Guest
    kevin Monday, 28 September 2015

    many international students are here hoping to get pernament residency therefore you were non genuine students to start with the rules which have just been changed the labor party tried to bring these rule changes in 3 or 4 years years ago your investement in time & money was a gamble which has & will pay off for many international students All federal govts have for a few years advised pernament residency & immigration are not automatically linked i sympathise with your failure to rort the system while many others have succeeded. good luck

  • Sooh Yee - Goon
    Sooh Yee - Goon Wednesday, 30 September 2015


    I came across your website when I am trying to find petitions to reverse the cap and cease ministerial order.

    I am a GSM 176 family sponsored, category 5 applicant who has been waiting in queue for 7 years. I think the Australian government had sentenced us all to death without trial. After waiting for such a long time, age factor and state sponsorship requirement under Skill Select would render all 176 applicants ineligible to qualify for migration to Australia.

    Does anyone knows any authorities who are willing to fight for injustice that has been done to them?

  • Guest
    carl Wednesday, 30 September 2015

    if the cap & reverse ministerial order is overturned the federal govt may allocate one visa per year for 175 176 & 475 visas or change this by legislation category 5 is low priority regarded as with minimum education standards permament residency is now harder to get applicants & federal govt have found family sponsored visas were generally below expectations & many unemployed Australians to get jobs first. Dont expect help from the labour party they tried to do the same thing a few years ago. Australian govt determines who gets to stay here not overseas immigration agents use the skills you have ' learned here back in your home countries ' or try for some other types of visas best wishes

  • Guest
    Robert K Chelliah Wednesday, 30 September 2015

    The Minister may have acted lawfully within the construct of the prescribed sections of the Migration Act. But, she has failed the human test of accountability and responsibility to the thousands of applicants given hope for a successful resolution of their valid application made 8 years ago. Governments of the day has responsibility to behave constitutionally, which includes the inherent ethos of human rights.

    Robert K Chelliah

  • Guest
    Alisha hughes Wednesday, 30 September 2015

    Absolutley devestated
    176 visa just gone like that ;(
    Living on oz paying taxes
    6 years waiting two children born in oz
    Kiwi born mum english dad
    Voluteer firman/life guard
    I feel so deflated how can this happen what do we do?

  • Guest
    Alisha Wednesday, 30 September 2015

    My family applied for 176 family visa 6 years ago onshore and its saying they are ceasing ofshore only? And we had a case officer just a month back and finalising with more medicals
    Im so confused

  • Guest
    Robert K Chelliah Thursday, 01 October 2015

    Give Credit to Where It Should be Given:

    It was Migration Alliance that expressed concern over the Minister's ill considered decision. It was in this Forum a number of agents expressed their concern, including me. The media picked it up and ran with the expression, but gave credit to MIA for the expression of concern. MIA only picked up its role after agents and the media ran with the public expressions of dissatisfaction. It was as usual the Liana and the MA does the push and the hard yaka while MIA steals the thunder. We will continue to work with MA for the betterment of the profession and its image.

    Robert K Chelliah

  • Guest
    Pereira Thursday, 01 October 2015

    Really not happy with the government decision at least they should have put all our application in the next planning year. The government should really think about the people who have wasted their hard earned money and time thinking that one day their dream of landing in Australia will be fulfilled.

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