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Guest Jamie Smith

The reason why it takes so long to get a visa

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Guest Jamie Smith

From Hansard, Senate meeting for updated budget estimates, February 2011.

 

Senator CASH—Very briefly, then, how many staff from DIAC are presently involved in processing irregular maritime arrivals at various locations?

Mr Metcalfe (CEO of DIAC)—I will ask Mr Correll to assist with that.

Mr Correll—The total number of full-time equivalents involved in irregular maritime arrival activity is 848. In terms of that 848, they are divided into three broad categories. There are those who perform direct service delivery and support roles, and they totalled 708 full-time equivalents. There are those performing dedicated support roles, such as program management, financial management, reporting and evaluation, and they totalled 64 full-time equivalents. There was a further group performing indirect or overhead support type roles, totalling 76. In terms of the location of our staff—I should add that all of this data is at 31 January— those directly involved in the work of immigration detention centres and physically located at those detention centres, we had 105 full-time equivalents at Christmas Island, 68 at Northern IDC in Darwin and other alternative places of detention in Darwin, 35 at Curtin, 19 at Leonora, six at Port Augusta, five at the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation and also supporting Virginia Palms, 10 at Villawood, nine at Maribyrnong, 14 at Scherger and six at Inverbrackie. That represents the full break-up of the group.

OK, so DIAC have 848 FTEs involved in sea borne (non)refugee arrivals.

 

How many staff work for DIAC around the world? 7,924.

So almost 1/10th of DIAC manpower is tied up in handling the anticipated 6,000 unauthorised maritime arrivals for this year.

 

That's about 7 arrivals per DIAC person to be handled over a 12 month period, involved in all aspects of that situation.

 

For the 180,000 other skilled family visas granted, DIAC have 7,000 people, or 26 visas per staff member.

 

But wait, those 7,000 people also handle

 

 

  • 70,000 457 work permits and employer sponsor applications
  • 270,000 students
  • 175,000 manually processed short stay visas and 2.5 million electronic grants (e-visitor etc)

 

So setting aside the students which are mostly near automatic grants, that leaves 425,000 visa applications handled by 7,000 people, or 61 people per DIAC staff member. Versus just 7 people per staff member for maritime arrivals...

 

Now that's what I call an unfair diversion of resources, all because this Government cannot admit that they got it wrong when they relaxed the stiff rules that were applied to "boat people" under the previous Government.

 

And the good news?

 

Medical issues for less than 100% family of applicants:

 

Senator BOYCE—Anecdotally I am being told that people have a sense that it is somewhat easier, particularly for skilled workers with a child with a disability, to be accepted. Could you give me any reason why people might think that?

Mr Kukoc—Following Dr Moeller’s case last year and the joint standing committee review, the government has made some changes to expand the health waiver across more visa categories. Previously it was usually available to family visas and refugee and humanitarian visas, but now it has been expanded to some onshore skilled visa categories, particularly employer sponsored and regional skilled migration sponsored visas, so we do not face in future the situation we faced with Dr Moeller.

Moeller is an SA doctor who was working in Australia on a 457 whose disabled child was the reason used to refuse PR, before public outcry skillfully fed by the doctor forced a reversal of decision.

 

The message here is that migrants with "unhealthy" family members should look to regional or sponsored visas.

 

I guess that frees up a few DIAC staff members to go help with the boat people... (oops!)

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Guest Kewl

This projected ratio is insane! 1/10th of total strength just for few people ?? Thanks for the post ! This post should be an eye opener for DIAC. I have already spent 6k of my hard earned money for my application and I do not even have any visibility on the grant. Do not you think DIAC should be accountable for every penny I paid ?

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Thanks for the post Jamie. As usual, your posts rock!!

 

P.S: What the post says rocks our boat as well. :wink:

armandra!


Vic SS online app: 6 Jan 2011 | ACS online app: 13 Apr | ACS Positive (Analyst Programmer): 20 Jun | Vic SS approved: 22 Jun | 176 e-Lodged: 23 Jun | CO: 08 Jul | Meds: 25 Jul | PCC: 05 Aug | Grant: 10 Aug | Wooohooooooo: Lifetime! :wink:

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Great post - perhaps DIAC give some of us employer sponsership to work for them anf process out own! lol;00


Lodged 175 Visa :Dec 2010 , Aug 17 2011:biggrin: - requested Health, Police Checks, AFP!!!

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Guest guest17520

I may need to apply for a health waiver for my employer sponsored visa. My application has been sent on to a case officer who is apparently an expert in cases like mine. It turns out she is the only case officer for the whole of Australia who looks after cases like mine, and she only works 3 days a week.

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So 800 staff for boat people and they still have detention centres at peak capacity?

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