The most recent Department statistics show that on 31 March 2018 there were 194,875 people in Australia on bridging visas, up by 41,066 on the same date last year and the number keeps on rising due to the government’s lack of action on finalising most substantive* applications already in the pipeline.
While the Department of Home Affairs announced 163,000 people permanently migrated to Australia in the 2017-2018 Migration program year, well under the projected 190,000 intake, and down from 183,608 the year before — is this really the case?
The number of people who hold bridging visas has blown out of proportion. Ironically, these visas are not counted in the substantive visa statistics. The coalition government is claiming positive results from targets reduction of the migration intake when in fact it appears there is very little change in Net Overseas Migration.
The Department’s delayed processing for most employer-sponsored visas, partner and family visas, temporary graduate visas or onshore asylum applications is causing significant frustration and concern for families, leading to further uncertainty.
As for a multicultural society, migrants bring skills, knowledge and experience to Australia. In contributing to the diversity of our communities, they have undoubtedly contributed many benefits to the nation including desirable skills, dominant connections, cultural diversity, and thus sustaining Australia’s viable economy.
We are eager to find out what’s the next chapter in the Australian migration industry!
*Note: The Department’s definition of “Substantive” — A visa other than (a) a bridging visa, (b) criminal justice visa (c) enforcement visa