While the Australian government decides whether or not to privatize its visa system, critics are affirmative that will do no good to the country. It goes without saying that Australia is a favorite among skilled immigrants and international students. Community and Public Sector Union has already warned the government that more than 3,000 jobs are at stake if the visa system is privatized. The government wants to offer premium services for high-value applicants, which means the highest bidder will get the visa. It doesn't make sense at all because the officials only want more ways to earn more money.
Privatising the system will also put people's information at risk. However, Peter Dutton, Home Affairs Minister of Australia, doesn't feel the same. He said that privatizing the visa system is mainly aimed at modernizing so that it can deal with more number of visa applications and deliver approval faster. Nick McKim, Greens senator, feels that it will only corrupt the system. Shayne Neumann, Labor’s immigration spokesman, that the trend started long ago when the government decided to outsource 250 departmental call center jobs to Datacom, a New Zealand-based company.
Andrew Kefford, first assistant secretary, Australian immigration department, said that Australian government has already asked companies to send proposals so work can be started soon. Kefford noted that the government is keen to explore commercial value-added services that will help attract more people to Australia. If the proposal goes through, it'll be the Australian visa system's most significant reform in the past 30 years.
Foreign visitors in Australia
The country welcomed nine million international visitors in 2017 and expected the total to increase to 13 million in the next decade. That means, it would be impossible to handle visa applications manually as the immigration department will be required to hire a lot of people, which isn't possible financially.