Immigration has briefed industry players in San Francisco, Singapore and Bangalore, and has also invited artificial intelligence and robotics companies to help it design a new visa system in a bid to automate more assessments, potentially with AI.
The department hopes the overhaul will prepare it for an expected 50 per cent surge in visa and citizenship applications by 2026, when numbers are predicted to top 13 million a year.
Businesses already shoulder 20 per cent of the work in Immigration's visa system, but the department told private operators in a consultation paper applications had reached unprecedented numbers and it wanted to avoid cost blow-outs by involving them more.
"This would enable the department's staff to focus on the more complex elements of the visa business," it said.
"Doing so is expected to drive substantial financial and non-financial benefits for the Australian public, applicants, the government and the market."
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