Skilled visas to be processed within a week to fill temporary shortages

Many businesses will have visa applications that fill temporary skills shortages approved within five business days.

A government scheme to fast-track visa applications that fill temporary skills shortages will be expanded, after businesses complained the system is no longer fit for purpose.

Australian companies that have invested $50 million into their business in the past five years will now be eligible to secure a Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa for a worker within five business days. Less than an eighth of the average time it takes for other TSS applicants.

To facilitate the success of the visa application and assure they are being applied correctly, a new team was set up in the Government’s Immigration Department. It is this department’s job to identify and invite eligible employers to join the scheme. Those employers will not only have businesses that have invested $50 million in the past five years but also have unblemished track records of compliance with Australian migration and employment law.

It must also be proven that employment opportunities looking to filled via fast-tracked visas have been offered to Australians first. Something that has concerned critics of current immigration policy.

However, Mr Coleman remains firm that, “Our first priority must always be to fill available jobs with Australian workers. This has been and remains our key focus, which is reflected in the unemployment rate falling to 5 per cent and record job creation across Australia.”

“However, where skills are unavailable in Australia, we must ensure businesses can access the global pool of skilled workers so they can continue to thrive and generate the best economic contribution for Australia.”

The new rules will almost triple the number of eligible businesses from 900 to 2500 by the end of the year.