With higher education being the focus of many people arriving in Australia every year, the government has become more proactive in its approach to approving new visas.
The world has been recovering from the COVID pandemic and admissions to colleges and universities are now in full swing. Recently, however, visa approval processes encountered significant delays.
It has been reported that processing for as many as 16,400 visa applications have been delayed. The newly elected Australian government stepped in and took the situation seriously. They have worked on clearing this backlog, for both international students and also for offshore workers.
What the officials have to say
Andrew Giles, the new Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs of Australia said that his focus would be to clear the backlog as efficiently and quickly as possible.
The budget cut from the last budget cycle led to the worsening of delays and made it harder to process visas for the Australian staff.
Budget cut adding to the misery
The new visa process is now in place and the government of Australia has been working through the applications at great speed. Even with the $875 million budget cut, they have been keeping the visa process smooth yet functional.
Giles said that the budget cut has adversely affected everyone involved in the visa process. The immigration department is working harder than ever to get things back on track. With new resource allocation measures and new policy options, the Prime Minister has stated that this is a top priority.
The PM has also said that short-term migration will help to solve the skill shortage in particular fields too. Having a steady flow of specialised individuals and students is crucial for the economy of Australia. The island nation is known to be one of the most diverse multicultural societies in the world.
With embassy staff facing the brunt of the budget cut, there is a distinct lack of trained people to process the incoming visas. There has also been an increase in fraudulent paperwork coming through, slowing down the process significantly.
Internationalisation is a cornerstone of the Australian economy, and international education is likely to be made more accessible than ever. Australia has admitted that they haven’t reached their pre-COVID efficiency yet but they are working on it. The budget cut certainly hasn’t helped.
Giles has said time and again that the short-term measures being taken should be in-sync with the long-term plan of economic stabilisation. The National Cabinet has also admitted to a skills shortage and is doing everything in its power to change that.
ITECA has urged government officials for swift and effective action as international visa delays will hinder the recovery of international education. They should focus on welcoming international students back to Australia and ensure the process is smooth and simple.