28 July 2009

Government handing of invalid Australian visa applications under fire

A new report by the Immigration Ombudsman found that the Department of immigration and Citizenship has been taking to respond to and process invalid visa applications.

The department takes anywhere between one day and two years to assess an Australian visa application as invalid or incomplete, the new report found.

Professor John McMillan said many applications were ruled invalid due to issues such as missing paperwork and he called for  Australian visa applications to be assessed in a more timely manner.

He said he was concerned the delays put some applicants at risk of being declared unlawful or having their visa options severely limited, and the Invalid Visa Applications report found more than 200 cases between 2006 and 2008 where this situation had occurred.

"Processing delays and inconsistencies could have serious consequences for the immigration status of applicants," Prof McMillan said.

The report found the average length of time to process an application as invalid was 38 days.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with Australian visas and immigration

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