Businesses looking to employ skilled migrant workers have been provided with extra resources to help them determine the length of time an application may take.
Recent directions issued by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) have introduced priority processing for certain visas relevant to specific industries.
This has been done in order to better align the needs of Australian businesses with the skills of individuals applying for sponsorship.
In recent years the department has reported several substantial increases in the numbers of people seeking to immigrate to Australia, representing a broad spectrum of talents across multiple industries.
Changes have been made that may impact on the processing times of different visas. Directions have been issued that determine the order in which certain applications are processed, regardless of the time of their submission.
To assist businesses and individuals seeking skilled migration visas, the DIAC has published information about the priority groups and general turnover times.
A post on the skilled migration blog asserts that the department will update the information regularly.
The plan is to provide both workers and businesses with general advice on these priority groups and the estimated length of time required for an application to be processed.
New directives were issued by the DIAC in response to an increase in the number of skilled migrants and companies applying for visas - specifically the 457 visa.
This particular class allows businesses to sponsor international employees to live and work in Australia for up to four years, providing companies with access to a level of labour essential to business success that may not be present in the domestic market.
Priority has been given by the department to applications in industry sectors identified as having a critical shortage of skilled workers.
The future introduction of regional migration agreements may also help businesses speed up this process, as it could help to streamline the necessary dialogue between employers, local stakeholder groups and DIAC officials.
Businesses and individuals interested in learning more about skilled migration would to well to consult with an experienced migration lawyer, rather than an unaccredited source.
A firm that specialises in lawyers for immigration can provide assistance in navigating the requirements of these visas and will be able to give you an up-front assessment of an application.
These services could be highly valuable to a business seeking to hire skilled migrant workers, as the process is time consuming and involves many departmental fees that are non-refundable.