14 July 2008

Applications for temporary visas to Australia to be quicker

The processing time of temporary Australian visas should increase as new centres for excellence are created by the country's government. Located in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, the centres are now running and will mean temporary Australian visas (subclass 457) are issued more rapidly.

Senator Chris Evans, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, said the application time had already increased, since last year. He said: "In June 2007, an average of 400 cases was processed within seven days whereas in June 2008, more than 1200 applicants were granted visas within a week."

The Minister added these visas are "critical" to solving skills shortages and meeting labour demands. The government has now cleared the backlog of visas and so can process solely new applications.

New harsher punishments have recently been introduced for employers of temporary Australian visa holders, who mistreat them. The punishment for these people is now up to ten years in jail and a fine of AUD$110,000 (£53,600).

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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