Covid-19 Visa Processing Trends – Survey

The Migration Institute of Australia surveyed its members on visa processing trends during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Australian visas are still being processed; however, it’s clear that the current Coronavirus pandemic will have some impact.

In an effort to identify whether any processing trends were emerging, the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA), the peak body representing Registered Migration Agents, surveyed its members on recent visa outcomes.

“The purpose of collecting this data is to obtain a clearer understanding of the characteristics of application grants or refusals and permission to enter Australia requests for the information of MIA members,” the MIA said.

The body did warn that the number of responses received was relatively low, so it’s not possible to “strongly confirm” whether the information it gathered represents proper processing trends yet.

However, the data is helpful in providing a picture at this current time and confirms what we’ve been seeing here at True Blue Migration Services.

Key points:

  • Processing has slowed and more onshore applications are being granted than offshore (a rate of 5:1)
  • Critical sector occupations are being prioritised onshore
  • Case Officers appear to be issuing more ‘requests for further information’ in relation to employer-sponsored applications, checking that roles are still necessary in the current climate
  • Members report that employer-sponsored 482s, 186s and 187s are being granted more frequently than other subclasses, even though fewer are coming through than earlier in the year
  • 801 partner visas are the second most frequently granted visa type at the moment
  • Practitioners have seen a small number of 491 and 489 visa approvals for onshore applicants
  • There are reports of subclass 500 and 485 approvals coming through for onshore applicants
  • ‘Registered Nurse’ is the occupation that has seen the largest number of grants

This is broadly in line with what we’ve been seeing; applications are being processed, but there has been some disruption.

If you are planning to lodge a visa there is nothing to stop you proceeding with your application. Applications are not closed, you’ll simply join the processing queue. Once Australia’s borders open again, there is likely to be a surge in demand for visas, so it’s wise not to let the current crisis derail your plans. Migration to Australia will of course be impacted in the long run, but we’re confident that things will pick up again.



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