The Federal Government has revealed that there is a skilled migration “backlog of cases” caused by the former Rudd government’s skilled shortage migration model in 2009.

Each year the Department of Immigration and Border Protection allocates the number of skilled migration visas the Australian government is willing to grant.

The remaining unallocated skilled migrants are classified as ‘Priority Group 5.’


Migrants in the Priority Group 5 category rely on family sponsored applications which have a total planning level of 28 850 visa places.

In 2009, the former Rudd government changed the rules of the skilled migration programme, which allowed Australia to select some occupations over others, instead of processing applications by the date they were lodged.

This resulted in 3,300 Priority 5 skilled migrants that are now living in Australia on bridging visas, waiting to hear if they will become permanent residents.

Peter Mares, an adjunct researcher on migration at Swinburne University in Melbourne, said “I think it becomes unreasonable to expect people to wait four, five, six years [for permanent residency] when they’ve paid money up front.”

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