Due to the high number of visa applications, Australia is looking for private companies to collect biometric data within the visa process. The fact is that since the beginning of 2022, the number of visa applications has increased dramatically.
New outsourcing process to start in March 2023
Recently, a call for tenders was issued for this plan. The companies selected will be responsible for collecting biometric data from visa applications and verifying and comparing them. They are also responsible for forwarding this data to the Australian Department of Home Affairs for further processing of the visa application process. The Department of Home Affairs makes the final decision on whether to grant the visa.
The Ministry states that in 2021, an average of 27,000 visa applications were submitted per month. The figures for the months of February and March 2022 showed a sharp increase to 137,144 and 225,514 applications respectively. This high demand for visas can be explained, according to the ministry, by the resumption of international travel, which has led to a sharp increase in economic activity around the world.
The purpose of the outsourcing process
By outsourcing the collection of biometric data, the Australian government hopes not only to eliminate the backlog of visa issuance, but also to ensure that the cost of visa applications is not significantly increased. This decision is also part of the governmentʼs ongoing plans to improve the visa issuing system and make it more efficient to meet travellersʼ expectations.
Among these innovations is the introduction of a digital health card. This was previously introduced in December 2021, but later abolished with the intention of reintroducing an improved version. Currently, Australia is engaged in some digital transition projects, such as developing an age verification technology. The country is also introducing a Trusted Digital Identity Framework that will determine how digital identity services should be recorded.
Applying for an Australia visa
Everyone who travels to Australia will have to comply with this. This also applies to British people who are planning to travel to Australia and who need to apply for an Australia visa. Travellers with British or Irish nationality can make use of the eVisitor visa Australia, which is easy to apply for online. The visa is usually granted within 5 days and is valid for one year from the date of issuance. During that year, you can make an unlimited number of journeys. You can stay in Australia for up to three consecutive months per visit.