Australia: Skilled Migration and visa backlog in focus at first cabinet meeting

On Friday 17 June, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hosted his first national cabinet meeting. During the meeting, leaders from several Australian states and territories highlighted the issues that impact immigration.

Enormous visa backlogs

The Australian immigration programme is still suffering from the effects of the covid-19 pandemic. This has resulted in huge backlogs in the processing and issuing of visas. The Department of Home Affairs is therefore under extreme pressure. Prime Minister Albanese mentioned that several candidates have to wait 12 to 18 months before a visa is granted. In reality, it appears that several candidates have been waiting for more than two years before they are granted a visa. With distressing situations as a result.

The impact on the economy

Partly because of the large backlog at the Department of Home Affairs, the country is facing serious shortages of skilled labour. Many companies are struggling now that they cannot find suitable candidates to fill their vacancies. Mark McGowan, the Prime Minister of Western Australia and the South Australian Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas, among others, acknowledged that ensuring skilled migration is a major concern within the states and territories. According to the Premier of Western Australia, attracting new workers is one of the key challenges in securing continued economic growth.

What will be the solution?

Premier Albanese indicated that attempts are currently being made to resolve the issues internally. For example, people within the Department of Home Affairs working in other departments are being brought in to help deal with visa backlogs and long waiting times. According to him, this is clearly necessary and the easiest way to make an immediate difference.


Canadian Immigration Council (IRCC) resumes invitations Federal Skilled Worker Program and Canadian Experience Class in July 2022

The Canadian Federal Skilled Worker Programme (FSWP) has been on hold since December 2020. The Canadian Experience Class has also been without invitations since September 2021. After a long period of silence from the Canadian Immigration Department, there are now indications that both programmes will finally be resumed around July 2022. Besides these announcements, Minister Sean Fraser has also mentioned that holders of a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) can obtain an extension of up to 18 months of their work permit.

A summary of the most important announcements

  • Express Entry invitations for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Canadian Experience Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Program will resume as of July 2022;
  • The vast majority of new Express Entry applications will be processed within six months. In comparison, according to the IRCC, the current Express Entry processing time ranges from 7 months to more than 20 months;
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit holders whose visas expire between January and December 2022 will be eligible for an additional open work permit of up to 18 months starting in the summer of 2022;
  • Applicants will not be required to reside in Canada for the entire period the visa application is being processed;
  • Applicants who also apply for an open work permit while waiting for the permanent visa application to be processed will be eligible for work permits valid until the end of 2024;
  • To support family reunification, immediate family members of a main applicant for a permanent visa who are outside Canada will be eligible for their own open work permit.

The announcements are good news for anyone who has been waiting a long time for clarity on obtaining permanent residency in Canada. Do you have any questions? Then get in touch with us.

Do you want to know if you can qualify for a visa to Canada in one of the above visa categories? Fill out our free visa check.


Australia announces route to permanent residence for temporary employer-sponsored visa holders

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a decreasing number of temporary visa holders by 2021. Partly as a result, there is currently a high demand for suitable workforce from the Australian labour market. In response, the Australian Government announced on 25 November 2021 that measures will be introduced to improve the option of permanent residency. These measures will apply to certain subclass 482 and 457 visa holders and are due to be introduced on 1 July 2022.

What is an Employer Sponsored Visa (subclass 482 and 457)?

First of all, it is good to make the comparison between the two visa categories. The subclass 457 visa is the predecessor of the current subclass 482 “Temporary Skill Shortage visa”. Both belong to the ’employer sponsored’ category. This means that candidates need an employer to be able to apply for a visa within this category.

Under the current ‘Temporary Skill Shortage visa’, subclass 482, mainly two routes can be distinguished. These are the medium-term stream and the short-term stream. Candidates with an occupation on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List, or the Regional Occupation List may be able to qualify for a visa with a validity of up to four years. After the candidate has worked for the Australian employer for three years, they can then proceed to a permanent visa. For candidates on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List, the current programme is slightly different. Within this programme a visa for two years can be applied for. After these two years, the visa can be extended for another two years, but moving on to permanent residence is not possible.

The Australian government now wants to change this. The reason for this is that everyone who stayed in Australia during the pandemic contributed to the rebuilding of the economy. In order to acknowledge this, a transition to permanent residence will be made possible for holders of a short-term visa. You can read how they intend to do this below.

Announced changes

The new rules will be introduced on 1 July 2022 and apply to candidates who have worked in Australia for a total of at least 12 months between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021. Additional work experience requirements apply, but vary by situation and visa status.

Applicants who meet the requirements may qualify for a permanent visa in subclasses 186 or 187 through the Temporary Residence Transition stream (TRT). Having an Australian employer is a requirement.

Do you have any questions? Please contact us.


Australia: Immigration quota 2022-2023

Every year, the new visa year in Australia starts on 1 July. This means, among other things, that from that moment a new quota applies for all visa categories. This quota determines how many places are available within a visa category, and therefore how many visas can be issued.

The immigration quota and allocation

Australia’s total immigration programme includes 160,000 places for the visa year running from 1 July 2022. This has remained the same as the previous visa year. However, the number of places for the Skilled Migrant category, for example, has increased. The table below shows the actual quotas for the different categories:

Visa StreamVisa category2021-22 2022-23
SkilledEmployer Sponsored 22,000​ 30,000
Skilled Independent 6,500 16,652
  Regional 11,200 25,000
  State/Territory Nominated 11,200 20,000
  Business Innovation & Investment 13,500 9,500
  Global Talent (Independent) 15,000 8,448
  Distinguished Talent 200 300
Total skilled   79,600 109,900
Family Partner* 72,300 40,500
  Parent 4,500 6,000
  Child* 3,000 3,000
  Other Family 500 500
Total family   77,300* 50,000
Special Eligibility**   100 100
Total visaprogramme   160,00​0 160,000

*The quota mentioned for these visa categories (partner visa and child visa) is only indicative. This is because the quota for these categories is demand driven and there is no ceiling.