Cap and Cease arrangements for offshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa applications

The Assistant Minister set a cap for offshore GSM visas which took effect on 22 September 2015. The following offshore GSM visas were affected:

  • Skilled Independent (subclass 175)
  • Skilled Sponsored (subclass 176)
  • Skilled Regional Sponsored (subclass 475).

The cap sets the maximum number of places that can be granted in the 2015–16 financial year for these visa subclasses. This total has already been reached. Therefore, applications for these visas that were not finalised before 22 September 2015 were taken not to have been made and the relevant visa application charge will be repaid to affected applicants.

If your application was affected by the Cap and Cease determination, we will send you, or your authorised recipient (if you have one), a letter of notification.

Repayment of visa application charge


Applicants affected by Cap and Cease are eligible for a repayment of the visa application charge. To claim a repayment, you need to complete Form 1424 – Refund request (332KB PDF).

You will need to complete all questions in Parts A-E of the form. You should type your responses into the fillable fields. You do not need to complete Parts F-G of the form.

The Department's preferred payment method is by electronic funds transfer (EFT).

You will need to print the form and physically sign it. If you do not complete all the required details, there could be a delay in receiving your repayment.

Supporting documentation required for a repayment

Electronic copies of the following documents should be attached to your email along with completed Form 1424 – Refund request (332KB PDF)

  • an identification document containing a photograph and signature (such as Passport or driver’s license)
  • if your application was lodged over the internet, a bank statement clearly listing the name on the account, the payment amount and the credit card number must be provided, along with a photocopy of the credit card used. If you no longer have this information (for example, the credit card you used has since expired) you can provide a Statutory Declaration declaring the reason you are unable to provide evidence of the payment.
  • if your application was lodged at a counter or by mail, attach the original receipt. If you do not have the original receipt you must attach a Statutory Declaration, declaring that you have either lost or misplaced the receipt and that you have not used the receipt to lodge a further application.
  • in the event of the payer’s death a certified copy of the death certificate. Supporting documentation of your relationship to the payer, such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate, letter of probate, certified copy of the payer’s will nominating you as a beneficiary, or a completed/witnessed Statutory Declaration declaring that there is no payer letter of probate or will.

Where to send your form and supporting documents to request repayment

You can email your completed form supporting documents to cap.&

Repayments will be paid to the person shown as the 'payer' on the receipt. If the 'payer' was a migration agent, the repayment will be made to the primary applicant. Form 1424 – Refund request (332KB PDF) should be completed by the applicant as the original ‘payer’.

If you believe that you might be eligible for a repayment and you did not receive any notification from the Department please contact us at cap.&

Repayment of the second instalment of the Visa Application Charge

Most applicants will only have made one visa application charge payment. If you have made both the first and second instalments of the visa application charge, you are eligible to receive a repayment for both.

Other costs associated with my visa application

Other costs you might have incurred in relation to your application cannot be repaid (for example, migration agent fees) as these were not made to us.

Repayment time frame

We estimate it will take approximately 15 weeks, from the date we receive the completed form to process the payment.

The processing times provided are a guide only and are dependent on a range of factors including:

  • clients returning a full completed repayment form
  • the repayment method chosen
  • data verification procedures.

After we have processed the repayment and referred it to the nominated bank we have no control over the time taken to transfer the funds.

We will make every effort to process all repayments in a timely manner.

Further information

On 1 July 2012 the Australian Government implemented SkillSelect. SkillSelect is an online service helping Australia manage its skilled migration programme consistent with Australia's economic needs. It supports the government in managing who can apply for skilled migration, when they can apply and in what numbers.

Following the introduction of SkillSelect and the impact of priority processing arrangements that have applied to GSM visa applications, the number of available places in the Migration Programme for GSM applications lodged before 1 July 2012 has been limited. Consequently the time taken to process affected applications has continued to increase as the demand for GSM places continues to exceed the available supply.

The Australian Government has decided to end the ongoing uncertainty for applicants who applied prior to 1 July 2012, for an offshore GSM visa by capping and ceasing these visa subclasses and repaying the visa application charge to applicants..