It seems the new Australian government is refocussing on restarting the permanent skilled workers, giving them top priority.
However, reading further into this, the government is going to prioritise the processing of almost 60,000 permanent visa applications lodged by skilled workers based overseas, in a bid to rapidly reduce areas of dire shortage such as health, education and aged care.
So the focus is going to be on health, education and aged care.
However, stretched departmental resources will be diverted from processing the generally lower skilled permanent visa applications lodged by temporary visa holders already in Australia, in order that applications by more highly skilled workers overseas can go to the front of the queue.
And at present there is a total backlog of 961,016 visa applications across all categories, of which 560,187 lodged by people outside Australia.
The government has decided on a major revamp of the visa immigration process, which will have longer term effects on skilled migration.
Previous governments have looked to solve the resource shortage through scouring the world for skilled labour, but there seems a rethink by the current government to re-look at attempting to skill up local resources. Whether this is a viable longer term solution is more likely to be a 3-5 year question.
In the meantime, there’s almost a million visas on backlog, and growing every day.