Is the Australian immigration system user-friendly?

by Mark Benson on June 29, 2013

in Australia Immigration

Is the Australian immigration system user-friendly?

Is the Australian immigration system user-friendly?

If you read the official press releases from the Australian government you would likely assume that the Australian immigration system is very user-friendly and perhaps one of the best in the world. We therefore thought it would be interesting to gather the opinions of those who have moved to Australia in recent times, and those currently moving to the country, to see what they thought of the Australian immigration system.

You might be surprised to learn their views!

User-friendly?

While it is sometimes difficult to compare the Australian immigration system with any other system around the world, because you are unlikely to use more than one, the general opinion seems to be that the Australian system is not as user-friendly as the government would have you believe. We regularly see and hear of delays in paperwork being acknowledged, amendments being advised and indeed some members have reported losing their immigration fees because of issues out of their control.

Quote from AustraliaForum.com : “The Australian government is very vocal about its opinion that the Australian immigration system is one of the most user friendly in the world. Is this your experience of the system?”

The fact that the Australian government continues to change the immigration system, with the visa 457 system currently in focus, also adds confusion to the issue.

Moving online

The Australian government has been very proactive in the area of online immigration services and indeed there are some very informative websites connected to the Australian government. Indeed, in theory it is now possible to monitor your immigration application online to see what stage you are up to, what needs to be done and any potential issues.

It is possibly too early to pass opinion on the move to the online immigration system because that has been relatively recent. Nonetheless it will be interesting to see how this particular area grows and whether indeed it makes the immigration services in Australia a more focused and streamlined operation.

Information vacuums

Time and time again there have been comments regarding an inability to get in touch with their immigration representative and indeed the fact that professional advice can cost a significant amount of money. On one side it is very difficult for the Australian government to address every issue from every applicant, but only the other side, surely it would help all parties involved if the system was more open and it was easier to see what problems may lie ahead and what needs to be done?

In many cases applicants for Australian visas do not seem to have a problem with any particular waiting time, it is the fact that very often they will submit their paperwork, fees, etc and hear nothing for months. This can be demoralising and does not exactly allow you to plan ahead for that eventual day when you move to Australia.

Conclusion

It is debatable whether the Australian immigration system is one of the more streamlined, user-friendly and efficient in the world. What is not in doubt is that the government’s move to online immigration applications should allow more tracking of individual cases and reduce the “information vacuum” which can be very stressful.

It will be interesting to see the feedback in the months ahead now that more and more of the system has been placed online and indeed the fee structure now firmly discriminates against those applying off-line. Whether this is right or not is another matter for debate?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

trailsillustrat July 1, 2013 at 7:48 am

I'm really glad I went there and lodged in person. The counter officer was really nice, it was really fast too. When I looked online I thought, omg, how do people even do this. I was glad my visa type was only lodgeable in person.

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STV July 3, 2013 at 3:45 am

I have had the "unique" opportunity to go through three major Immigration processes, The USA immigration , The Canadian immigration and the Australian immigration . Out of three the most easiest, effective, efficient experience was the Australian immigration. However, I should mention that I went through the old, pre-July 2012, application process and I received my PR in 6 months. I did all my processing online and it was very easy… the prior canadian application process helped to get all my documents in order.
My case officer was very helpful and kind. Anyone who has ever talked to a US immigration officer, will tell you the Australian case officers are angels. I had called up the Canadian branch office (as I could Skype call them for free ) of DIAC for an enquiry and they were really helpful.

Caveat lector : I may be one of the lucky guys for whom everything just fell into place…

My 'personal' verdict: The Good – DIAC , The Bad – CIC, The Ugly – USCIS !!

Now if only I could make the recruiters believe in me ūüôĀ … well that's a different article(s)

Cheers !

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