If you’re an engineering graduate, you might be stuck outside of Australia indefinitely, adding to the country’s already severe scarcity of skilled workers.
A recent freedom of information request showed the department of home affairs had more than 6,000 applications for the 476 visa which it was yet to process
Engineers Australia, the industry’s primary trade group, is concerned that a “catastrophic” spike in engineering job openings over the last year may cause key infrastructure projects critical to Australia’s economic recovery to be delayed or halted altogether.
There have been 41 months of wait periods since 2018 for the 476 visa, which is intended for fresh engineering graduates who wish to live, work, or study in Australia for up to 18 months.
There have been a number of cases like Gurpreet Kaur’s where she has had to submit and resubmit papers and proof for over four years, but she has not been able to talk to anybody directly in the home affairs department about her application’s progress.
She informed the Guardian that she filed for the visa in September 2018 and is currently awaiting approval. I met all the requirements and paid my application money and medical examination expenses but there are still many other candidates from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh and many other countries…” About 6,000 people have applied for a grant and are still waiting.
Three to four years of waiting is a very frustrating condition, and I believe that any government has a moral obligation to remedy this injustice. We’ve done all we can to prepare for our futures, but we’re both suffering from a mental and professional depression.”
Muhammad Altaf, a Pakistani living not far from Islamabad, has a similar tale to tell.
Altaf’s career has been put on stop after he sought for a 476 visa in early 2019. Since the border reopened, visa processing delays have not improved in any way, he added, acknowledging the impact of Covid-19. There are a big number of 476 visa candidates in social media groups with Kaur and Altaf, all of whom maintain in touch with each other on a regular basis.
One visa has been given in the previous 10 days, he told the Guardian. Since this procedure is proceeding at its current rate, I believe we will get our funding in three or four years. “
More than 6,000 476 visa applications remained unprocessed, according to a recent freedom of information request.
Immigration delays are an issue for India’s high commissioner in Australia, Manpreet Vohra.
As a result of personnel shortages and a backlog resulting from the epidemic, he believes there is an issue.
As a result of policy, “it’s not going to be delayed or put on hold.”
They follow Prime Minister Albanese’s claim that visa processing issues were discussed during his recent trip to Indonesia.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Albanese Albanese stated in Jakarta on Monday that “without delving into other concerns, we noticed that we had a difficulty processing visas.”
It’s impossible to keep up with all that has to be done.
Migration, according to Engineers Australia, is simply one part of a “complicated and long-term endeavour” to solve the industry’s serious lack of skilled workers.
In order to bridge the skills gap between universities and the local market, Engineers Australia’s chief engineer, Jane MacMaster, says skilled migration is essential. However, only approximately 40% of higher international engineers end up working in an engineering profession once in Australia.
Continued inflows of highly skilled engineers would not be sufficient to improve Australia’s technical capabilities, according to her. This should be a top focus, as well as better support and use of the capabilities already present in Australia (from both migrants and those wishing to return to technical job).
As a result, Engineers Australia has urged on educational institutions and governments to do more to entice secondary school students to major in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics.
It might be “catastrophic” if we don’t handle this “major skills problem,” she warned. “There will be delays in infrastructure projects and ramifications for Australia’s strategic ambitions, such as a shortage of personnel to assist expand sovereign supply chain capabilities,” said a spokesperson for the Australian Government.
The business group claims it is striving to expedite the migration skills evaluation process for migrant engineers on 476 visas especially. It adds.
“For the last two decades, Engineers Australia has conducted migration skill evaluations to ensure that we bring the greatest talent and migrating workforce to Australia and is continuously working to close the engineering skills gap with policy makers, educators and industry,” MacMaster said. It is now working with the government to expedite evaluations for migratory engineers already in the United States.
In addition, engineers and potential employers should have an easier time understanding visa regulations, according to the report.
A number of different visas are available to engineering graduates, according to the home affairs department of the United Kingdom. A spokesperson stated that over one million visas had been issued since November, including those for students, visitors, working holiday makers, temporary skilled workers, and others, and that 1.61 million people currently hold these visas but are unable to travel to Australia even if they are fully vaccinated.
In April, the Department of State announced that it has extended the validity of 3,076 visas for an additional two years.
A spokeswoman for Covid said that several applications had been held up due to delays in processing. The “quality and completeness of those applications, applicants’ reaction to demands for information, and the intricacy involved in evaluating sincerity, character, health, and security requirements” have impacted other applications.
If you need any guidance related to your visas, Contact Vision Consultants Australia.