Applying for an Australian visa can take a long time. It can take months for the government to let you know if your visa has been approved, which can leave you stressed out and frustrated. In an effort to reduce waiting times, the Australian government has announced that they will be modernising both visa and citizenship applications. This overhaul has several important implications for anyone looking to move Down Under, or apply for Australian citizenship.
A lot is changing, and it’s all good
First off, let us be the first to tell you that these changes are fantastic news for anyone thinking of applying for Australian visas and/or citizenship
About $95.4 million has been allocated to new technologies for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). This will be spent on modernising and automating visa processes, starting in July 2017.
High-volume biometric matching, storing, analysis and data sharing of facial image and fingerprint biometrics will be introduced. These new technologies will allow visa and citizenship applications to be processed faster and more effectively.
Making it easier for legitimate travellers and migrants
The modernisation was announced in the 2017/2018 budget by the Minister of Immigration, Peter Dutton.
The Minister explained, “In a world of mass mobility, Australia needs to modernise its visa processes to facilitate economic growth and strengthen intelligence measures at the border to counter security threats.”
These changes have also been touted as a way to allow more efficient detection of security threats, while simultaneously speeding up the immigration process for legitimate travellers and migrants.
The Australian Border Force (ABF) processes more than 700,000 arrivals and departures every week. This number is expected to increase by about 20% over the next few years, so this revamp comes at the perfect time.