I sent in my application to the NSW branch back in October 2012, and 4 weeks later, I received my approval. I went into the office this past Thursday to perform my identity check, and today I'm showing up in the Registers of Practitioners.
As far as the application process, make sure you read and have EXACTLY
what they ask for. I did a ton of research before applying, so they never had to ask for anything else from me. I sent everything where it could be tracked, and then called the following day after they received it to confirm. Also, make sure to read the sections on certifying documents and what forms of identification are acceptable. I had to show my Notary Public the website stating that the copies had to be certified because she wanted to argue that Notaries only certify signatures. Might be handy to have a printout of that page with you when you go to certify.
Make sure you have high school and college transcripts as well as letters from your schools
saying that you were "taught and assessed in English". From what I read and was told, that was a biggie as far as proving you were efficient in the English language. I don't remember the application specifically stating that you had to have this, but I remember reading about them asking for it at a later time.
Also, you will have to make a personal appearance at the branch you apply to, so be prepared for that. You have a year from the date of your letter of approval. At that time, they will do an identity check on you verifying your passport, local address, and visa status.