17 June 2008

Visa approvals for Australian immigration rise

The number of approved temporary Australian visas approved has increased since last year, under the new Labor government. The visa (subclass 457) approvals in April and May increased to 6,130 a month, compared to the last six months of last year where an average of 4,625 visas were approved by the Howard government.

The high level of approvals may be attributed to an order from the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, to clear the backlog of applications by the end of this month. Bob Kinnaird, an immigration consultant, said businesses will be pleased by the news, with certain sectors benefiting more from the visa changes. "There has certainly been a big increase in manufacturing and construction and to a lesser extent mining," he added.

Mr Kinnaird said changes needed to be made to the systems in order to better support these Australian visa holders, including introducing fairer wages for the group. Currently several unions are looking to change the minimum wage awarded to the Australian visa holders and create a market wage in its place.

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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