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Australia’s visa processing services have been put out to tender to the private sector, including an option to extend the privatisation process to citizenship applications.

The Home Affairs Department released the tender document on Friday, calling for a platform to manage visa applications, decision-making workflows and attract potential visitors and migrants.

‘The Australian government will retain the option to extend the scope of the platform for other long-term visas and ultimately citizenship in the future,’ the tender document says.

The tender papers say getting the private sector to process visas does not involve privatising Australia’s visa system or decision making.

‘Australia needs a visa system that is easier to understand, better suited to the rapidly growing number of visitors, and flexible enough for Australia to remain a competitive destination for temporary visitors and the longer-term entrants Australia needs,’ it says.

‘The platform must be flexible and able to quickly and efficiently accommodate policy changes made by governments-of-the-day.’

As part of the deal, the Home Affairs Department will remain in charge of all visa decision making, national security, risk assessments, and receive all visa application revenue.