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A Brave New (Post Covid-19) World

Nov 11, 2022 | AUS | 0 comments

As the dust settles down from Omicron as well as other variants (and sub variants) of COVID-19, now is the time for Australia to move towards economic recovery.  However, Rome wasn’t built in a day and certainly not during the Global Pandemic which forced most of the world to shut down for two years.  Naturally this has changed immigration landscape permanently.

The challenges which we are seeing within the space of corporate migration are obvious. To put it bluntly, Australia does not have the necessary workforce to compete with modern day demands.  However, dwelling on what Global Mobility used to be and what it is now is not particularly helpful, nor will it solve the issue at hand. 

As a society, we need to face the new world, a world where mobility will continue to see rippling effects of the pandemic here and there, from time to time (the media has already issued warnings about new COVID-19 variants emerging in summer). 

Our challenges for 2023

Visa Processing Times

The Federal Government announced back in July 2022 that the Department of Home Affairs has over 1 million unprocessed visa applications (note, this does not include up to 12,000 visas lodged daily to the backlog tally).  Fortunately, this number has gone down to around 750,000 which was announced by the immigration minister at a conference in October 2022.  The number of unprocessed visas will continue to drop and is expected to return to “pre Covid-19” days which will mean faster processing times.  Fortunately our clients are seeing processing times improve.

Availability of Skilled Employees

Sponsors continue to struggle to find local workers, the reality of this problem is that it has become systemic across all regions and sectors of Australian workforce including metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.  It is no longer a skills shortage, but rather a skills crisis across the industries.  Reducing migration intake to the STEM Sector over 2020 and 2022 has resulted in secondary issues of skills shortages across other fields including advanced trades and manufacturing, construction, and many of the professional services.

Whilst there is no immediate solution in sight, sponsors can take positive steps to ensure that they are workforce ready.  Plan and adopt an active rather than passive approach of recruiting skilled workers.  It is helpful to conduct staff planning levels for 2023 and identify these gaps.  For example, if you need an Accountant in July 2023, your recruitment should begin now as opposed to Q2 of 2023.

Offering competitive Salary

Demand for skilled labour is driving the salaries upwards and increases the overall competition across much of the industry sectors.  Having acute awareness of how much your staff are worth (both in a monetary and non-monetary sense) is vital to successfully facing the challenges of the present environment. 


I am asked this question at least once per day, “What is the solution?”.  The reality is that there is no solution to these challenges.  There may not be one for some time to come.  However, there are certainly options and as a business it is paramount for you to understand what these options look like.

Under Australia’s immigration framework, there are an array of different visas available therefore sometimes a solution may not appear to be obvious.  As a business, have you considered shorter term work visas such as subclass 400 visa which allows individuals to work for up to 3 months?  Alternatively, if you are having difficulty in keeping up with sponsorship obligations, have you considered moving your population across to permanent residency via the Employer Nomination Scheme?  Once again, these are not the solutions, but they are the options which are available to every business and it is about understanding these options and utilising these options to full extent.

To better understand how we can help our clients within the current immigration framework, CML has rolled out a feedback survey. The survey asked our clients to rate services provided by CML and our mean score is 4.1/5 and median score of 4.0/5 with trust being the most rated factor when it comes to immigration and communication being the most important factor when it comes to day-to-day immigration advice and assistance.

The message is therefore clear.  Employers continue to trust the immigration process, and they want to continue to trust the immigration process provided there is clarity and transparency.

Final Thoughts:

The good news is coming:

  • Average processing time for TSS nomination and visas now stands at approximately 2 months (note this figure is based on applications which we are seeing).  There are legacy cases – pre- 1 July lodgements which are still being processed by the Department of Home Affairs
  • Requirement for onshore medicals has been removed with an attempt to speed up the process
  • TSS lodgements are up by 51% and ENS lodgements are up by 70%
  • PR skilled migration has been lifted by additional 35,000 places bringing total intake to just over 140,000 places which is one of our highest intakes in the modern-day history of immigration
  • Health and education sectors will continue to be priority processed and second priority will go to offshore applicants with the hope to boost up availability of skilled migrants across all sectors including hospitality

With diligent planning as well as developing a close relationship with our corporate clients, we are hopeful that the journey of attracting a skilled workforce becomes less of a cumbersome task for everyone.   Our goal is to ensure that our clients retain their competitive edge on the market and do so by understanding current and future immigration requirements.  That is our Vision for 2023.

By Ross Ahmadzai

Principal of Crystal Migration