Reduce processing time for 887 PR visa to 7 months

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This petition is a voice of onshore skilled migrants, who are transitioning from SC489 (skilled provisional) to SC887 (permanent residency) visas and currently are being hit with painful processing delays.

We have witnessed published estimated processing times for SC887 balloon from 7 months to 21 in the last year, with some of us waiting for two years and longer for a visa decision. We are in quite a predicament, with our original visas expiring whilst we are waiting in the queue for our permanent residency. A lot of us are now on bridging visas, putting important life’s decisions on hold and unable to move on. For us it spells uncertainty, cancelled travel plans, inability to visit aging parents overseas, delaying university applications for children, etc – we are all still waiting “to be accepted”. Great job opportunities pass us by, as employers will not consider us while we are on provisional and bridging visas. No lender will offer us a mortgage or allow to finance a car, unless with ridiculously high interest rates and insurance premiums. We made Australia our home, yet we will be classed as "foreign buyers" if we are to buy a property. 

Our families are not entitled to help from the government, discounts for childcare and older children’s university fees – yet we are paying taxes, just like citizens and permanent residents. In order to transition to 887, we all have satisfied conditions of our provisional visa, i.e. settled and worked full time in designated/regional areas for a set period of time. We have done the hard yards and became a part of this country. We are ready to develop further, continue to enjoy Australia and contribute to the nation’s wealth. Instead, we seem to be suspended in a never-ending limbo with not many rights but obligations. Uncertainty is mentally exhausting. Seeing constant extension of processing times, monthly advertised on the immigration site, makes it hard to maintain a positive mindset. Ever changing visa processing rules and new tentative legislation proposals add to anxiety. 

We understand that there are reasons for most visa subclasses processing delays, but it is the solutions we are seeking. We are already paying hefty fees for visa applications, in return we would love to enjoy good customer service and reasonable processing times. If this means further increase in application fees, so be it – small price to pay for the right to finally move on with our lives, have children knowing there is future for them in this country, apply and be accepted for better jobs, being able to buy family homes and travel the world freely. Most importantly, we want to feel like we finally belong.

Please help us by taking measures to reduce processing times for 887 PR visas back to maximum 7 months wait for 90% of all applications.