Due to a shortage of skilled labour, the Australian Minister for Immigration has urged the Department of Home Affairs to process visa applications for skilled migrants at a faster pace.
Significant backlog of visa applications for skilled workers
Last week, Australiaʼs Immigration Minister urged the Department of Home Affairs to speed up the processing of visa applications for skilled workers. In recent years, there has been a huge shortage of skilled migrants in Australia because visa applications were not processed quickly enough.
The number of skilled migrant workers on temporary work visas fell from 196,000 in 2014 to 96,000 in 2022. In April this year, more migrant workers left the country than those who entered, leaving many businesses in Australia struggling with a labour shortage. In that month 8,970 skilled migrants entered Australia, but 9230 left the country as well. This led to an outflow of 260 workers in the 482 visa category.
Obstacles for employers in their search for skilled labour migrants
Not only do migrant workers struggle to obtain visas on time, but employers also face many obstacles in their search for skilled workers. For example, the cost of a work visa is very high and there are long processing times. This makes it difficult for companies to recruit staff, and it even results in some companies closing down.
The Australian government will therefore have to come up with a solution soon. In the past, temporary workers in various sectors were systematically exploited and underpaid, but this must now change. According to the chairman of the ACTU (Australian Council of Trade Unions), the focus should now be on prioritising permanent migration to fill labour shortages in combination with skills training for local workers.
Difference between working visa and tourist visa
If you plan to work during your trip through Australia, you can apply for a Working Holiday visa or Work and Holiday visa. Which of the two visas you can apply for depends on your nationality. For travellers from the Netherlands and Belgium, the Working Holiday visa is sufficient. This visa is valid for a stay of one year and can be applied for up to three times. Please note that the costs for this visa are much higher than for a tourist visa.
Those who do not wish to stay longer than three months in Australia and do not intend to work should apply for an Australia tourist visa (eVisitor). In general, travellers from the European Union meet the requirements for the eVisitor visa Australia. Therefore, before applying for the visa, carefully check whether you meet all the requirements. If not, you cannot apply for an eVisitor visa Australia, but you will have to apply for another visa for Australia, for example an ETA. The costs and application procedure for this visa depend on the nationality of the traveller.