According to Clare O’Neil, Minister of Home Affairs, the government will take steps to deal with the issue of backlog in Australia. As a result of a massive visa backlog, the federal government plans to give priority to 60,000 permanent visa applications from international skilled workers. It aims to resolve workforce shortages caused by delays in visa processing time.
According to the reports, it’s estimated that the government is facing a backlog of almost 1 million visa applications. This problem has arisen due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions in Australia. The visa backlog in Australia is causing delays in the visa processing time.
Visa Backlog in Australia? – Find out what Home Affairs is Planning!
Clare O’Neil, Minister of Home Affairs, has now announced his plan to resolve the issue of visa backlogs in the country. According to her, the Government will prioritize skilled international applicants in areas such as health, education, and aged care.
Clare O’Neil has stated:
The real priority for me is what we can do within the constraints of the system to quickly work through that backlog.
The change is prioritising people who are offshore who are wanting to come here to work and working through those applications as quickly as we can.
It’s a drop in the ocean, when we are talking about a backlog that is close to a million.
Number of Pending Visa Applications in Australia
According to Government data, there’re currently 961,016 visa applications in the backlog across all categories. It includes 560,187 applications made by people from offshore.
This consists of 57,906 skilled employees applying for permanent visas. While the rest of the 13,806 international visa applicants are hoping to receive temporary visas.
Anna Boucher, an associate professor at the University of Sydney, called the visa backlog in Australia “massive“. This is only the initial step, she says.
In her recent interview, she stated:
It’s a drop in the ocean, when we are talking about a backlog that is close to a million and we need close to half a million workers as unemployment keeps dropping.
Even if they took all of those permanent visa holders in the queue and all of the temporary visa holders – it’s still nowhere near going to cover the scale of the skill shortage.
According to Clare O’Neil, the current plan is only a short-term solution. However, she says that the government plans to discuss how to improve the migration program to deal with ongoing challenges at the jobs summit scheduled for 1-2 September.
Clare O’Neil believes that:
Our immigration program is a sacred nation-building exercise that we need to really think about and have a good community conversation about and design it carefully.
Ms. Clare O’Neil, Minister of Home Affairs, recently visited Sri Lanka. In her recent interview, she emphasized that Australia was always committed to turning back boat arrivals. As South Asia faces an economic crisis, people may be encouraged to take risks.
Ms. Clare O’Neil says:
The most important thing I can do in my position is to reiterate that operation sovereign borders is Australian government policy.
Don’t get on a boat and think you are going to be able to make a life in Australia – you will be turned back.
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The Migration Debate!
The Job summit aims to unite unions, businesses, representatives of governments, and civil society groups. As migration will be a key topic of discussion at the jobs summit.
Professor Boucher said:
It was important to find a middle ground in the debate warning “otherwise it can inflame xenophobic tendencies.
It’s not just about the size.
A more fine-grained picture and raising awareness about the migration program – how important it is and also some of the complexities of it can only be beneficial.
In Morrison government in Australia, the permanent migration program was limited to 160,000 per year. Well, Covid-19 pushed this down to a negative level for the first time since after World War II. Migration numbers have gradually recovered in Australia after the international borders reopened on December 21. Despite this, businesses are still waiting months for staff to be hired to fill skill shortages.
Australia Chamber of Commerce proposes to expand the annual migration program to 200,000 people. The purpose is to ensure the economic recovery of Australia after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jim Chalmers – What’s His Take on This?
The treasurer, Jim Chalmers said that businesses are desperate for workers. He has described labour shortages as a hurdle that is causing the economy to suffer.
In an interview with the reporters, he stated that:
Focusing on the skilled workers that the economy is crying out for in that long queue of visa applicants I think is a very smart thing to do.
[But] we need to caution against thinking that migration can be a substitute for some of the other things we need to do to build a bigger, more productive, better skilled higher wage workforce in this country.
There was a 3.5% drop in Australia’s unemployment rate in June. It is at its lowest level in 48 years. However, the skills shortage in Australia continues to be a problem even with the strong labour market.
As part of the discussion about Australia’s labor needs, Professor Robert Breunig, a public policy economist from the Australian National University said that investment in training should be taken into consideration.
Robert Breunig believes:
This is a good move [focusing on skilled visa applications] – we are currently in a situation where labour shortages are really doing damage to the economy.
[But] a challenge for Australia is how do we make sure that our education system is actually providing the skills to people that our labour market needs.
Backlog in Australia – Final Words!
To address a massive visa backlog, the federal government will be prioritizing 60,000 permanent visa applications from skilled overseas workers. The purpose of it is to address labor in Australia shortages due to long visa processing times. Australia has thousands of pending visa applications across all categories.
So, there’s a lot going on and the Govt. is all set to resolve the issue this massive visa backlog in Australia. If you want to apply for a visa in Australia and need help to apply, you can book a consultation with us right now!
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I’m Nasir Nawaz. I’m a registered migration consultant in Australia. I am based in Sydney. I’ve studied Master of Laws at the University of New South Wales. I’m providing immigration services for several years.
Consult with me for legal advice on Australian visas to permanently live, study, and work in Australia.