19 November 2009

MIA expresses concerns over Australia visa processing

The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) has written to the Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship expressing their concerns about the priority processing of General Skilled Migration applications.

Despite the call for a refund of visa costs to those who face a wait of up to three years before their Australia visa will be processed the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Senator Evans has dismissed the idea.

The Minister said Australia Immigration would continue taking applications, although the entire system including the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) was under review.

In the submission to the Minister the Institute stated that the new visa processing regime creates numerous serious problems including damage to Australia’s reputation, additional costs related to the wait to the Australia visa application, and the difficulty for employment for applicants on bridging visas.

The MIA said there was a potential risk to Australia’s reputation with thousands of people having paid Australia visa application charges, with the reasonable expectation that the applications would be finalised within published service standard times, waiting indefinite lengths of time for a decision on their applications.

The MIA has suggested that the Department should refund fees for applicants who now wish to withdraw their application,  and that it is particularly important to give priority processing exemptions to those applications which were about to be finalised just before the changes were announced.

 The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to Australia. 

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