A Long Wait for Visa Applicants


Applications for skilled migrant category visas are taking longer than ever before, with an average processing time of eight months. People who are waiting for their visas are having to either leave the country and come back in again in order to renew their visitor visas, get bridging visas, or enrol as students and work part time.

The skilled migrant category visa is not the only visa that is being delayed. The family visa often takes as long as 11 months. Permanent residency visas and student visas take about a month to process.

Businesses who need to hire skilled workers are quite frustrated because they have a genuine need for workers. The skilled migrant visa is for workers who have special skills and are hard to find. Businesses are struggling to provide a consistent service because they can’t be sure whether their staff will be able to stay in the future.

There has also been a drop in the number of student visas and permanent residency visas applied for this year. International schools and tourism businesses have noticed that the number of visitors and students has dropped, perhaps because of the slow visa processing time.

The immigration department says that the reason for the delays is that they do not have enough staff. The rate of immigration over the last five years has been quite high, and staff numbers in the department of immigration were decreased by 250 in the last two years.

There has also been a number of incorrect decisions made by the department of immigration regarding visa applications. When people appeal their visa decision, 4 in ten appeals are supported by the court. This suggests that staff do not have enough time to make fair decisions for applicants.

The immigration department has also been criticised for failing to police immigration fraud and exploitation of migrant workers, and immigration has complained that they do not have enough staff to do this properly.

Have or has?

  1. There ______ been a number of visa applications.
  2. International schools and tourism businesses ______ noticed a decrease in visitors and students.
  3. There _____ been a drop in the number of student visas.
  4. The immigration department _____ been criticised.
  5. Staff numbers _____ decreased.
  6. The number of applications _____ dropped.
  7. The rate of immigration _____ been high.

Scroll down to find the answers.



frustrated: angry because you can’t get what you need

genuine: real

processing: the work of checking facts in order to decide about an application

decreased: reduced

fraud: cheating

police: here, police is being used as a verb. It means to supervise and control.


1. has   2. have   3. has   4. has   5. have   6. has   7. has