South Australia's GSM unit have stated
they will no longer fast-track any
It's been a hectic year of Australia immigration changes, with the number of updates to visa legislation leaving many migrants (as well as their migration agents) frustrated. However, we're starting to see signs that we're not the only ones left aggravated by the constant setbacks; see below for a recent piece of correspondence we received from the South Australia General Skilled Migration (GSM) unit:
"We regret that due to undertaking numerous (and sometimes unreasonable) requests for fast-tracking of sponsorship applications, the GSM Unit has not been able to meet our service standards. This is at the cost of the general applicants who have factored in our processing times.
In the interest of customer service to current applicants, this is to advise you that the GSM Unit will not be fast-tracking any sponsorship application regardless of the reason for the urgency, including the increase in IELTS for on-shore applicants which will come into effect on 1 January 2010. Every effort will be made to make decisions on Permanent sponsorships within 4 weeks of receipt of all documents; and within 8 weeks of receipt of all documents for Provisional sponsorships."
It's a sign of just how overwhelmed some Australian States and Territories have become as a result of the visa processing changes, as they state that they are currently failing to meet their service standards and will be refusing to fast-track any sponsorship applications as a result.
Typically, applying for sponsorship from an Australian state or territory has been one part of the Australia visa application process where an applicant can expect some leniency (in terms of a State or Territory department responding positively to any specific requests made). However, it seems that going forward, that may no longer be the case.
While the migration industry has always had to be malleable and change with legislation, the number of updates in 2009 has been almost relentless, with the current rules in danger of stretching many migration stakeholders to breaking point unless some relief is offered by the Department of Immigration.
- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau
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