13 September 2010
Christopher Bowen declared new Australian Immigration Minister
Australian visa applicants will be keen to learn that Australian PM Julia Gillard announced this weekend that the Australian Ministry of Immigration will be the responsibility of Chris Bowen. He has admitted to being 'taken aback' by his new appointment.
Australian immigration, particularly the handling of asylum seekers, is an area critics suggest was a stumbling block for Julia Gillard’s election campaign, with outgoing minister Chris Evans reported to have conceded in a private function last month that the issue was "killing the government". Bowen has already said that the way refugees are handled is his first priority.
For skilled Australian visa applicants, there will be concern that Bowen tackles the growing backlog of applications in the system, and that State Migration Plans are authorised and published speedily. Some states in Australia, such as the ACT and Victoria have pointed on their websites to October as a possible point their Migration Plans might be published, although that is open to change.
Bowen replaces former Immigration Minister Chris Evans, who is now responsible for the department of Jobs, Skills and Workplace Relations.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their application with the Australian Embassy.