Australia to fast-track 60,000 visa applications for PR

By Our Reporter
Representative image. Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash

Australia is looking at prioritising the permanent visa applications of 60,000 skilled workers with a focus on those who have health, education and aged care qualifications.

This was stated by Home Affairs Minister Claire O’Neil in an interview to ABC Radio National and The Australian Financial Review. The minister said the issue was about bringing more people into Australia to fill the much-needed jobs across the economy.

“Having a big, strong economy can help us deliver secure, high-paying jobs for years to come. Fixing our immigration system will help us do just that, but first we’ve got to get the system moving again.

“That’s why we’re quickly clearing the visa backlog and working together with our skills and training system to upskill a generation of Australians and set our nation up for the future,” she also posted on her Facebook page.

The minister said the way to address the skills crisis was to prioritise people who are offshore, “who are wanting to come here to work, and working through those applications as quickly as we can”.

Currently, Australia has a backlog of almost one million visa applications.

Reports say that labour shortages in aged care homes have nearly doubled since 2021. Hundreds of shifts are being left vacant due to rising infections from Covid-19 and the flu.

In its report ‘Australia’s 2022-23 Migration Program’, the Law Council considers that “the 2022-23 Migration Program should be sufficiently large to address the present skills shortages in the economy and to rebuild population growth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as ensure that the family migration backlogs can be adequately addressed.”

The NEMBC Multilingual News Service citing a new World Health organization report said migrants and refugees globally face worse health conditions than their host communities. In Australia, migrant and refugee healthcare issues are exacerbated by visa limitations and processing times, it added.

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