IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? Processing times for Subclass 457 visas are averaging eight to ten weeks, a time frame that is within the advertised range but nonetheless marks a significant increase from past years.
What does the change mean? Businesses should anticipate longer-than-average processing and submit 457 petitions earlier than usual if necessary.
Background: Processing times fluctuate regularly, and the current processing times are still within the range advertised by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (two months for low-risk applications, three months for high-risk applications). Processing times have increased compared with years past, however, perhaps due in part to more complicated integrity requirements and reduced staffing levels. Accredited sponsors will continue to receive streamlined processing.
BAL Analysis: The DIBP has indicated that processing times are not likely to improve significantly in the near future. Sponsoring employers should take note of the trend and plan accordingly.
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