Visa Crunch

Australia Accelerates Visa Applications To Reduce Backlogs, Says Immigration Minister

Australia implemented a travel ban on international arrivals after the World Health Organization (WHO) designated the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The pandemic had an effect on the skilled migration process, resulting in lengthy delays for offshore candidates. Borders have been reopened following discussions with Australia’s Prime Minister and the National Cabinet. Those who have been prevented from entering Australia for nearly two years due to COVID-19 preventive measures will be free to do so as a result of this judgment.

To make reparations, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said that the Australian government will accelerate thousands of residence visa applications. Furthermore, it is currently preferring visas for those with an urgent need to commute, non-citizens with compelling and compassionate circumstances, and those with critical talents required to ensure the supply of basic commodities.

There are more opportunities open in Australia now than there were before the COVID-19 outbreak, and the Australian government is preparing to fill many more slots for travellers and students.

Applicants from both onshore and offshore claim to have been waiting for months. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) noted that many applications are now being evaluated and warned that processing times could be prolonged further. Presently, the DHA prioritises travellers who are not restricted to travel restrictions.

The current calculation for Subclass 190 visas, according to the department’s website, is six months for 75% of applications and nine months for 90% of applicants. Processing times are being adjusted by the Department of Home Affairs based on the age of recently completed visa applications.

Applications from applicants qualifying for a travel exemption were preferred throughout the COVID-19 travel constraint period.

Tourists who have been exempted from travel restrictions are being given priority access to resources. These visitors include immediate family members and parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents, as well as visa holders who meet certain requirements, such as skilled citizens, students, humanitarians, provisional family visa holders, and working holidaymakers.

It further stated that the government gives priority to candidates on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). This also extends to individuals working in sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery if no Australian workers are available, as well as students from outside who can study online but are enrolled in Australian colleges to meet the Australian Study Requirement.

Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders who have been unable to come to Australia owing to COVID-19 international border limitations will be allowed to apply for a replacement visa, according to the Australian government. Replacement visas will be charged, according to the Department of Home Affairs, and applicants will be eligible to apply to begin July 1, 2022.

Under the new regulations, current and former temporary graduate (subclass 485) visa holders whose visas expire on or after February 1, 2020, will be entitled to apply for a new substitute visa. Furthermore, international students who have recently graduated and want to stay in Australia can apply for one of the 485 visas.

Additionally, the government has extended the residence period on 485 visas for Master’s graduates from two to three years. With the global economy stabilising, the number of people looking to relocate to Australia has more than doubled.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

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