The Albanese Government says it is seeking to deliver workforce stability for regional Australia by addressing the visa issues and mismanagement left by the former Liberal National Government.
The Government has halved the backlog of 887 visas, which provide permanent residency to people who have lived and worked in regional Australia, by streamlining and investing $36 million in visa processing.
In the last three months of the former Liberal Government, fewer than four hundred 887 visas were granted, leaving over 18,000 to be processed as at June.
This Government says it is turning the page on a decade of neglect, with February seeing the largest number of 887 visas ever granted in a single month, possible because of an additional 582 staff working on visa processing right now.
In order to address acute workforce shortages in our regions, the Government has also tripled the number of regional skilled visas available to 34,000 for this year.
The Government is also working to reduce the overall visa backlog, processing almost 5.5 million visa applications since coming to Government, helping to deliver economic stability for our regions.
"The Liberal National Government failed regional Australia with their shoddy approach to visa processing,” said Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Andrew Giles MP.
"The Albanese Government is delivering economic stability to regional employers and families by streamlining visa processing, tripling the number of regional skilled visas, building regional jobs and bolstering local workforces by processing 887 visas faster.
“We can’t fix a decade of failure overnight - but we’re getting on with the job from day one to get visa applications out of the in-tray and workers into our regions.”