June, the Australian Financial Review reported the backlog for regional skilled worker visas to be around 16,400, with the processing timeline now extended to more than 19 months for half of all the potential migrants seeking to come to Australia.
In a recent interview with Kimberly Pilbara-ABC Mornings, our CEO and Principal Migration Agent Melanie Macfarlane highlights the need to clear this backlog as soon as possible and its implication for the Australian economy.
The full interview can be found on the link below:
With several industries facing severe shortages and a record 423,000 job vacancies around the country, the $875 million budget cut at the Home Affairs Department is another blow to the already existing visa blockage, which strains the highly dependent industries on the arrival of workers from abroad.
What does Australia stand to lose?
To begin with, we stand to lose a large portion of the global talent pool to countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and even the United States.
A decrease in migrants is hurting some industries such as the childcare, hospitality, and agriculture sectors more than other businesses. As Melanie had highlighted in her interview, “a holistic picture is important when we look at prospective and current migrants”. A pinpoint perspective of filling out our job vacancies is a minuscule part of the larger picture and might be a temporary fix.
With the current backlogs in the visa process and the number of PR granted slashed from 190,000 to 160,000, Australia would continually lose international students and prospective workers and risk losing our future skilled workers and citizens. We need to focus on attracting and retaining international students and workers who now prefer countries such as Canada that offer high-quality education and greater certainty about transitioning to a working visa and permanent residency.
When migrants come to Australia, they are part of a large and diverse culture. They are also responsible for significant contributions made in taxes. With a working population of 12 million and a growing aging population, our resources might be limited when looking after our citizens. Taxes paid by migrant workers help our economy and country grow both financially and culturally.
Melanie recently showed her support for our vibrant and diverse culture by attending The Kindness festival in Darwin, which aims to celebrate and embrace diversity.