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Immigration reform

Transforming Australia’s visa system

Public consultations

In late 2017, the Department completed public consultations on visa simplification including a broad program of engagement with industry, sectors of the community, international partners, and other interested parties. The Department released a policy consultation paper to support the public and other stakeholders in developing their response to the visa simplification process.

Submissions

During the public consultations, the Department received detailed responses from across the community and industry, which have provided valuable input towards the system’s design. A summary of these consultations is now available.

Submissions have been published on our website, unless withheld at the submitter’s request.

Service delivery reforms

The Department has begun work to enhance the way we deliver visa and citizenship services, using the latest digital technologies to make it more efficient and easier to use for applicants, businesses and our staff.

This is a long-term program of transformation of Australia's visa system and how it is promoted and delivered around the world. The purpose of this transformation is to pursue the Government's priorities of a strong economy, strong national security and a cohesive and prosperous society. It does not involve privatising Australia's visa system or decision making.

As a first step, the Department released a market consultation paper Delivering Visa Services for Australia in June 2017, seeking input from potential market providers to explore innovative solutions for a new visa service delivery business, including new technologies to help design and build a global digital visa-processing platform. This process closed on 23 July 2017

Following the market consultation paper, the Department released a  Request for Expression of Interest – Delivering Visa Services for Australia – Bundle 1 (REOI) on 22 September 2017.

The REOI closed on 27 October 2017.

The Department also published a Request for Information – Assessments Against Visa Criteria on 12 January 2018 on AusTender, seeking information from the market about innovative ways of undertaking assessments against visa criteria in a more streamlined and automated way.

Between September 2017 and July 2018, the Department completed the first three phases of the REOI - Delivering Visa Services for Australia – Bundle 1 process including:

  • Paper-based REOI responses
  • Scenario design and  evaluation
  • Co-design.

On 7 December 2018, the Department released the Request for Tender (RFT) Delivering Visa Services for Australia - Global Digital Platform to the respondents that had participated in the Co-design phase of the REOI.

  1. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase One - Parts 1-5
  2. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase One - Attachment A - Statement of Requirement
  3. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase One - Attachment B - Evaluation Process and Evaluation Criteria
  4. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase One - Attachment C - Tender Response Forms
  5. RFT 22 17 - B1 -  Phase One – Attachment D - Draft Agreement (to be issued as part of Phase Two Documentation)
  6. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase One - Attachment E - Glossary
  7. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase One - Attachment F - Deed of Confidentiality

On 5 April 2019, the Department released Phase Two of the Request for Tender Delivering Visa Services for Australia - Global Digital Platform to the two Tenderers that participated in the Request for Expressions of Interest process and that were selected to participate in Phase One of the RFT.

This decision to proceed to Phase Two followed an evaluation of the Tenderer’s Phase One Responses in accordance with the process set out in the RFT documents released on 7 December 2018. The process and timeline for RFT Phase Two are outlined in the tender documents for Phase Two.

  1. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase Two - Parts 1-5
  2. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase Two - Attachment A - Statement of Requirement
  3. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase Two - Attachment B - Evaluation Process and Evaluation Criteria
  4. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase Two - Attachment C - Tender Response Forms
  5. RFT 22 17 - B1 - Phase Two - Attachment D - Draft Agreement
  6. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase Two - Attachment E - Glossary
  7. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase Two - Attachment F - Deed of Confidentiality
  8. RFT 22/17 - B1 - Phase Two - Attachment G - Deed of Participation

The RFT is the next step in a multi-stage procurement process for the Global Digital Platform (the Platform) that will underpin far‑reaching modernisation and enhancement of Australia's visa and citizenship framework and how it is delivered around the world.

The Platform will support:

  • attraction to Australia of potential visitors, students and migrants (including through repeat visits and/or progressing through different visa pathways)
  • matching of skilled migrants to identified employment opportunities
  • visa application processes
  • visa decision making workflows
  • an integrated, end-to-end, whole-of-life applicant management system that delivers improved user experience and information provision for the complete range of departmental users, including visa and citizenship decision makers and the Australian Border Force
  • compliance with visa conditions.

The Department will:

  • determine business rules establishing all workflows on the Platform
  • at all times remain accountable and responsible for all visa decision making
  • continue to be responsible for national security and risk assessment
  • continue to receive all Visa Application Charge revenue
  • have full access to all Platform data and oversight of the operations at all times.

Caretaker Conventions

There are established practices set out in the Caretaker Guidelines that guide the activities of Commonwealth Agencies during the Caretaker Period which commences on the dissolution of the House of Representatives before a general election. The release of Phase Two of the Request for Tender

Delivering Visa Services for Australia - Global Digital Platform on 5 April 2019 continues a procurement process that commenced in September 2017 with the Request for Expression of Interest stage, and continued in December 2018 with the release of RFT Phase One. The Phase Two Tender documents specifically address the application of the Caretaker Guidelines to this procurement.  As set out in the Phase Two Request for Tender documents:

  • Tenders are not due to be submitted until 28 June 2019
  • Following evaluation of those tenders, the decision to proceed or not with a preferred tenderer (if any), will be made by the Australian Government in October 2019.

Further information about the Platform is available at: Reforms to modernise Australia's visa system—Q&As