processing-outstanding-visa-applications-is-a-priority-for-the-australian-government

Processing outstanding visa applications is a priority for the Australian government

Published on : June 16, 2022

 

The business community in Australia has urged the government to release a backlog of over 140,000 skilled workers that are waiting for their visa applications to be processed. 

A visa application backlog for skilled workers that want to work overseas in Australia has led to businesses in Australia struggling with labour shortages. 

The new Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles recently announced that the clearing of the Australian visa backlogs is the primary concern. The Department of Home Affairs has accordingly been directed to accelerate visa applications. 

Processing outstanding visa applications remains a priority for the Australian government. As per the Australian Immigration Minister, “.. we are committed to ensuring that visa applications are processed in a timely manner”. 

Reportedly, the fact of there being an extraordinary delay in processing visa applications has been raised on many past occasions by the community as well as the former Australian government. 

Australia is dealing with a skills shortage that has been made more acute by the visa processing backlog due to COVID-19. Incidentally, India took the second spot on the list of countries that sourced the most permanent migrants to Australia in 2020-2021. 

Top 10 Countries that sent the most permanent residents to Australia in 2020-21

  1. China
  2. India
  3. UK
  4. Philippines
  5. Vietnam
  6. US
  7. Nepal
  8. Hong Kong
  9. Pakistan
  10. Thailand

Source: Country Profiles List, Department of Home Affairs, Department of Home Affairs.

At the end of June 2020, there were 721,050 Indian-born individuals living in Australia. The second-largest migrant community in Australia, after the United Kingdom, the Indian-born form an estimated 2.8% of the total population of Australia. 

Australia’s permanent Migration Program is the main pathway to Australian permanent residence and includes - 

  • The Skill stream, 
  • The Family stream, and 
  • Special Eligibility visas. 

Skill stream visas - containing seven separate components - of Australia are for skilled foreign workers that have the skills, qualification and entrepreneurship most needed in the Australian economy. 

Australian Skill stream categories | Number of visas granted to Indians

Permanent migration to Australia from India per migration category -

Pathway 

In 2020-21

Skilled Independent

1,140

State/Territory nominated 

4,052

Global Talent (Independent)

1,116

Employer Sponsored 

4,347

Business Innovation and Investment 

168

Partner 

5,515

Regional* 

4,638

All other categories 

815

TOTAL

21,791

 

* The Skilled Regional category closed to new applications from July 1, 2019. The Regional migration category commenced July 1, 2019.Source: Department of Home Affairs. 

The Family steam visas grant Australian permanent residence to close family members of the citizens and permanent residents of Australia. Eligible New Zealand citizens can also apply. While the focus is on the partner and parents of the Australia PR visa holders and citizens, the Family steam can also be used to get other family members to Australia, such as - orphan relatives, aged dependent relatives etc. 

Temporary migration to Australia is when an individual goes to Australia for a temporary stay. There are six main Australia temporary visa categories, covering stays of more than three months in Australia. 

Australian Temporary Migration | Number of visas granted to Indians

Temporary migration to Australia from India per migration category - the number of visa grants to Indian nationals, for Visitor, Student and Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visas.

Pathway

In 2019-20

In 2020-21

Visitor 

222,785

29,502

Student 

55,560

47,031

Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment)

13,434

10,071

Other temporary visa grants 

29,657

19,957

TOTAL

321,436

106,561

 

Source: Department of Home Affairs. 

Main Occupations for Nationals of India that got Australia visas in 2020-21

Based on - 

  • Skill stream migration outcomes, and
  • Temporary resident (Skilled Employment) visa. 
 

Occupation

Number of migrants

Temporary Resident  (Skilled Employment) visas

Software and application programmers 

2,281

ICT support and test engineers

616

ICT business and systems analysts 

429

ICT managers 

144

Registered nurses 

143

Chefs 

109

Database and systems administrators, and ICT security specialists 

93

Cooks

84

General practitioners and resident medical officers

81

Management and organisation analysts 

78

Skill stream permanent migration 

Software and applications programmers 

1,530

Registered nurses 

929

ICT business and systems analysts 

525

Industrial, mechanical and production engineers 

379

Accountants 

314

Computer network professionals 

258

Database and systems administrators, and ICT security specialists 

212

Other engineering professionals 

204

Cooks 

170

Civil engineering professionals 

153

 

Note:

  • Occupation level information is for the primary applicant only. 
  • As per the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) unit level data. 

Source: Department of Home Affairs. 

With processing outstanding visa applications a priority for the Australian government, things are looking up for skilled workers looking to work in Australia. More than 1,301,000 visas have been granted by the Department of Home Affairs since the border was first opened to vaccinated travelers in November 2021.

Topics: Australia

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