Andrew Giles unveils swift visa processing reforms

By Our Reporter
Representative image // Photo by Nicole Geri on Unsplash

In a significant announcement, Australia’s Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles, revealed that the country’s visa processing times have undergone a remarkable transformation.

Temporary skilled work visas are now processed in just 11 days, a substantial reduction from the previous 50 days. Student visas now take merely 10 days, down from a lengthy 40 days, while initial partner visas, crucial for family reunification, have been trimmed to just five months for the first stage, nearly halving the previous processing duration.

Speaking to CALD media online, Giles highlighted the dedicated efforts to address these challenges, noting that the visa system is now in a significantly stronger position compared to when the current government took office over a year ago.

Giles also emphasised the renewed focus on the 888 visa, a permanent visa within the business, innovation, and investment program. Previously neglected, these applications are now a top priority, with most expected to be assessed by year-end.

Addressing the persistent issue of lengthy wait times for parent visas, Minister Giles acknowledged the concerns surrounding this matter. While the government has already granted more parent visas than the previous administration, the prolonged delays remain a pressing concern. Giles assured that reforms in this area are a government priority, with a concerted effort to create space for these reforms by addressing the visa backlog.

Looking to the future, Minister Giles reiterated the significance of improving the visa system in the short term as it lays the foundation for broader reforms. He referenced the comprehensive migration review led by Martin Parkinson, featuring over 480 submissions. A response to this review is in the pipeline, underscoring the importance of community and business input in shaping the final strategy.

Giles also recognised the substantial skill shortages in the trades sector, stressing the need to strike a balance between addressing short-term gaps and investing in domestic training. He committed to sharing further details of the immigration review shortly and emphasized the crucial role of engaging with communities and experts to effectively tackle visa-related issues.

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