Visa Processing Queues Slashed

The Department is dedicated to improving visa processing times and reducing the visa backlog. As of March 31, 2023, there were approximately 575,700 on-hand visa applications, which is a significant decrease of 380,100 (40 percent) compared to June 2022. Among these, 141,900 applications are subject to capping and queuing. Temporary visa applications have decreased by nearly 70 percent since June 2022.

From July 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023, the Department processed around 6.15 million temporary and permanent visa applications, with over 5.32 million coming from applicants outside Australia. Notably, the Department is finalizing more visas in key programs compared to pre-pandemic levels. For instance, offshore Student visas saw a 59 percent increase in finalizations compared to the same period in 2018-19, and there was a 10 percent increase in Temporary Skill Shortage visa finalizations.

As of March 31, 2023, the number of temporary visa holders in Australia rebounded to over 2.46 million, returning to pre-pandemic levels after dropping to 1.61 million in December 2021. Additionally, 4.2 million visa holders are outside Australia and eligible to travel, including 249,000 with work rights.

Since July 1, 2022, the Department has received nearly 5.80 million new visa applications, a substantial increase from approximately 1.77 million during the same period in the previous year. In the offshore Student visa program, lodgements have returned to pre-COVID-19 levels, with nearly 290,000 lodgements between July 2022 and March 2023, compared to nearly 210,000 in the same period in 2018-19.

More information is available on the Home Affairs Website.

Written by Ross Ahmadzai

4 Sep, 2023

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