The Albanese Government has made resolving the backlog of visa applicants a top priority, and the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs has instructed the Department of Home Affairs to allocate extra workers to clear the backlog.
The Department is giving temporary skilled workers, student, and tourist caseloads first priority so that more individuals may visit Australia, promote economic development, and help with skill shortages.
Andrew Giles, minister of immigration, citizenship, and multicultural affairs has given the Department the duty of clearing the backlog as soon as feasible. The solutions are available to mitigate the backlog are being evaluated by Minister Giles.
Since May 2022, approximately 140 additional employees have taken on tasks related to visa processing, shifting officers who had previously been concentrating on travel exclusions to those positions. Additionally, the Australian Border Force and the Department of Defense have built an overflow ability to work overtime.
Minister Giles said that the Department was dealing with a significant amount of older cases and that important programmes were witnessing a rise in the number of applications.
“June 2022 noticed a 6.5 per cent rise in requests obtained as in comparison to May 2022; even at the same time, there seemed to be a 10.6 per cent rise in requests finalised,” remarked Minister Giles.
Since the start of June 2022, 745,000 visa applications—including more than 645,000 offshore visa applications—have been approved. This would include 9,550 work visas, 62,000 student visas, and 388,000 temporary skilled visas.
Although lowering the backlog of requests won’t be possible overnight, the issuance of visas will remain to be a top priority for this government.
Before beginning this crucial activity, those who have been reassigned to handle the current visa applications must complete training and acquire the necessary skills. The past administration undervalued immigration, and throughout their tenure, the backlog of visa applications reached about 1,000,000. The Alban Government is committed to clearing the backlog and giving our Government’s immigration role its just due, said Minister Giles.
While the Department of Home Affairs has been directed to devote more staff to addressing the visa backlog, onshore skilled temporary migrants argue that they should get the priority in the queue since they are already in the country and contributing to the economy.