Australia Shocks Visa Applicants With New Processing Times
At a time when the regional population of Australia needs a boost, the Department of Home Affairs recently announced increments in the processing times for the 491, 887, and 489 regional visa categories. In total, these categories have more than 52,400 pending applications.
What are subclasses 887, 489, and 491 in the Australian visa categories?
Subclass 887, also known as Skilled Regional visa, is a category for individuals who have previously lived and worked in particular areas of regional Australia.
Subclass 489, also known as Skilled Regional – Provisional visa, is for skilled individuals interested in living and working in regional Australia. Unfortunately, this is closed for new applicants.
Subclass 491, also known as Skilled Work Regional – Provisional visa, is for skilled individuals with nominations from a state or territory government, allowing them to live and seek employment in regional Australia.
Based on official statistics of 31 December 2022, a total of 52,428 pending applications exist in subclasses 489, 887, and 491. Precisely, these applications are from 29,181 secondary applicants and 23,247 primary applicants.
Details About Updated Processing Times Of Australian Visas
The processing time for visa applications in subclass 887 is up to 27 months. On the other hand, the processing time for visa applications in subclass 491 is 30 months.
Needless to say, subclass 489 took a huge hit, as it was discontinued.
Regardless, candidates who had already submitted visa applications under subclass 489 will now have to wait for up to 48 months, as announced by the Department of Home Affairs. Back in 2019, the processing time for subclass 489 was only 8 months.
Furthermore, the processing time for applications of subclass 189, which is an independent visa, was reduced to up to 3 months by the Department of Home Affairs. Similarly, the processing time for subclass 190, which is a visa that permits individuals to work and study in Australia without any restrictions on location, is up to 15 months.
While talking to a news outlet, a spokesperson of the Department of Home Affairs said that processing all pending visa applications is the first priority for the Australian government. Moreover, the department is acquiring more decision-makers to tackle the backlog of skilled visas successfully.
Processing times are determined by the amount of time consumed by the processing of a visa application. Currently, the Department of Home Affairs is judging the processing times by how long it took to process applications that were finalized recently.
Although, this does not guarantee that the processing of a visa application will follow the pre-determined time frame.
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