14 July 2008
New Centres of Excellence for faster temporary visa processing
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has opened three Centres of Excellence for the processing of temporary skilled (457) visa applications. The centres in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, are designed to streamline the application process for the temporary visa so that positions in the workforce can be filled faster.
The centres were opened on July 01, and are a direct response to the increased demand for overseas workers in Australia. In the last financial year, over 100,000 457 visas were granted so that Australian businesses could fill the skills shortage.
The 457 visa is a temporary Australia visa that allows overseas workers to legally work in Australia for three months to four years in positions nominated by the Government.
Prior to the opening of the centres, 457 visas were processed in eight separate offices. Extra staff has been employed, and old staff has been retrained to meet new requirements. Last year, around 400 visas were being processed every week. Now, approximately 1200 cases are being processed in the same amount of time.
"The 457 program is critical to meeting the current labour market demands and the new Centres of Excellence will continue to improve the effectiveness of the processing of visas," said Senator Chris Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.
Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for visas to Australia.