As most of our clients would know, the Australian government is struggling with visa processing delays. The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs has provided an update stating he has directed the Department of Home Affairs to devote more staff to addressing the current visa backlog. The backlog in the processing queue was almost 1 million and the government states that more resources are being allocated to processing and to the training staff members that are being moved from other Government departments.
We are expecting delays will continue for some time as the new Minister states that the processing of visas will continue to be a major priority for this Government – but reducing the backlog of applications can’t happen overnight. The full media release can be found here.
We are in regular contact with the Department and the Minister’s office about the delays and have presented them with data about processing times and with some ideas about how these might be tackled. We are working on a briefing paper to be presented to the Minister’s office shortly.
In the meantime, the new government is also preparing for the ‘Jobs and Skills Summit’ to be held in Canberra in September 2022. The Summit is aimed to bring together Australians, including unions, employers, civil society and governments, to address our shared economic challenges. It is likely to be a long process with submissions being opened over the next 12 months. More information on the Summit can be found here.
We understand the processing delays continue to affect our clients and the uncertainty of providing accurate estimates is difficult to work with. Please be assured your Ajuria Lawyers team is doing everything possible to lodge applications that are ‘decision ready’ so that matters can be finalised once allocated for processing. Despite this, you may continue to experience inconsistent processing times and unusual requests as newly appointed officers settle into their roles and the Department struggles to manage the backlog.