Oz government unveils visa change proposals

by Ray Clancy on June 11, 2010

The Australian visa system is to be simplified and streamlined in a bid to make it less cumbersome and confusing.

It is currently a highly complex system with 90 visa classes and 149 visa subclasses. Now the government has pledged to make it better.

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Evans said that the number of temporary work visas will be reduced by 50% by 2012 and the number of visa subclasses will be cut in half by 2015.

‘Fewer temporary visa subclasses, simpler assessment criteria and a more streamlined and consistent application process will result in an overall simpler system. As a result, Australia’s visa system will be less cumbersome and confusing for individuals and businesses to navigate,’ he said.

Evans said the Rudd Government is determined to maintain strong border security and the integrity of the Australian Visa system and changes will help with this. ‘Improvements to Australia’s complex visa system will be implemented while ensuring the system remains responsive and supportive of government policy and client needs,’ he added.

The simplification of Australia’s visa system would be undertaken as a Better Regulation Ministerial Partnership, which is a key part of the Government’s deregulation agenda and to ensure a coordinated approach to regulatory reform.

The move towards simplifying the current visa processing would be completed as a positive Regulation Ministerial Partnership, said Lindsay Tanner the Minister for Finance and Deregulation.

‘Better Regulation Ministerial Partnerships form a key part of the Government’s deregulation agenda and ensure a disciplined and coordinated approach to delivering regulatory reform across government,’ Tanner explained.

‘Australia’s immigration system is an important source of skilled labour which contributes to productivity improvements and economic growth. This partnership provides the opportunity to make the system more client-focused, reduce administrative and compliance costs for business and improve the efficiency of the overall visa system.’

The government is asking for comments on its proposals and they need to be submitted by July 16.

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