The department of immigration has released its latest annual report in which it claims that it has achieved one of its key objectives (beside border protection) of granting the ‘best and brightest’ in the crop of migration applicants a quicker pathway to permanent residency so they can get on with their life and contribute to the Australian economy at the earliest.
In its latest annual report the department boasts that skilled migration application are being finalised between 6 and 12 months from the time of lodgement. The employer nominated scheme is the quickest pathway where the DIBP claims to have achieved almost 90% of its service standard of finalising 75% of the applications within 6 months.
In sharp contrast to this is the processing times for the family stream visas. The case in point is the Partner Temporary visa which has a similar service standard of 75% finalisations in 6 months. However, DIBP has achieved this only in about 1 in 5 cases with most being finalised in 12 months. RMAs have complained that DIBP has intentionally done this in order to spread out grants over the year and that some delays are due to applicants lodging applications without professional guidance due to the high deparmental application charges.
The sc457 Visa grants has seen a dramatic drop across the states. In 2013–14 the 457 primary visa grants for Western Australia (down 41.3 per cent to 8605) and Queensland (down 31 per cent to 7547) both fell. DIBP explained that this is in line with the slowing-down of the mining industry. The 457 primary visa grants for New South Wales (down 18.5 per cent to 19,693) and Victoria (down 14.8 per cent to 12,261) also fell.
The top three source countries for the 457 visa in 2013–14 were India with 23.3 per cent grants, followed by the UK (18.3 per cent) and the Republic of Ireland (7.2 per cent). These were the same top three source countries in 2012–13.