Australia seems to be too keen to reduce the number of the visas that it offers every year, and this includes even the Skilled and Sponsored Working Visas, in the mistaken belief that the migrants are putting a great deal of unwanted pressure on the infrastructure and resources of the country, and creating problems for the local people, by crowding the streets and choking the city-life.
Perhaps, this is the main reason why, as per a new report, the nation’s migrant intake will be considerably down this Fiscal Year (FY) – maybe, 25,000 below the scheduled number of 190,000 – spearheaded by the cuts made in the figure of the Skilled & Sponsored Working Visas.
Though the migration scheme has been at 190,000 since 2012-13, it nose-dived to 183,000 the last FY and will drop for a second time this year.
Numbers revealed at Senate estimates and visa statistics obtained divulge that the figure of the visas given during 2017-18 is expected to be 165,000 and this is the bottommost level in 7 years.
To 30 April 2018, Canberra had proffered 138,086 Permanent Visas divided roughly into two-thirds skilled, one-third family (and not including humanitarian visas, which is outside the migration scheme number).
Concluded to the full year ending 30 June, it seems likely that close-to 165,000 Migration Visas will be offered.
The numbers gained for the initial six months of the 2017-18 FY reveal a 15% reduction in the figure of the Permanent Visas offered, from 92,477 to 78,190.
Comparing the initial 6 months of the 2016-17 FY with the initial six months of the 2017-18 year, the numbers, allegedly, reveal considerable falls across majority of visa streams, but most predominantly-as mentioned earlier-among the Skilled Independent and Employer-sponsored Work Visas.
The figure of the Employer-sponsored Visas headed south to 16,047 from 22,843, propelled mainly by some amendments made to the 457 Visa Programme.
Skilled Independent Visas formally dropped to 20,989 from 24,289. This big drop, allegedly, covers a major change in the character of the scheme. An arrangement made between Australia and New Zealand presently allows some people of New Zealand, who have stayed and done a job in Oz for a period of 5 years, to submit an application for Permanent Residency (PR), and a corridor to citizenship.
These are expected to move a large number of other skilled migrants who might otherwise have been provided with a Permanent Visa in the migration intake. Numbers made available in April this year, reportedly, reveal 9,000-plus people from New Zealand have presented a petition to take up this route.
Not many migrants received sponsorship from the different Australian states, territories and regions, even as Business Innovation and Investment Visas (for those launching a firm or venture in Down Under) were mainly unchanged.
The planned migration programme number for the 2018-19 FY is for a second time 190,000, the seventh successive year at that level.
However, that number has gone through a restrained but major shift as discussion has resumed about the volume & character of Oz’s Australia’s migration scheme & future populace.
Earlier, inside the immigration organization (presently under the Australian Home Affairs), the migration scheme number was continually mentioned to as a “target” or “planning level”, and certainly not a “ceiling”, an ex-immigration deputy secretary reportedly said.
However, in May, the secretary of the Department of Home Affairs, reportedly, informed a change had occurred within administration many years ago, to certify that the permanent scheme was run, not as a goal but to treat the scheme as a top limit.
As per some reports, though cabinet this year discussed cutting down the planned migration number by 20,000, the same was dismissed. Ministers though have disclaimed that the number was ever debated, or proclaimed that debate over the volume of the nation’s migration scheme was component of regular discussions inside administration.
Peter Dutton, the in-office Australian Home Affairs Minister, has, reportedly, proclaimed that the administration already had and would cut down the migrant figures quoting traffic jam and exorbitant accommodation in cities. Still, he also, reportedly, went on to state simultaneously that he backed immigration at its present levels.
Even as the issues around clogged roads, pressures on schools, hospitals and other infrastructure, and house costs are, allegedly, politically sensitive for the administration, migration adds a likely 1% to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per annum, since the same counters the nation’s aged people (migrants are likely to be comparatively younger, vis-à-vis the average resident of the country).
Significantly, there is a noteworthy backbench campaigning for a decrease in permanent migrants shifting to Down Under. Tony Abbott, the former Premier, has, reportedly, urged for a reduction in the levels of migration to those found under John Howard.
Still, the nation’s migration plan thrived under Howard. The intake of permanent migration jumped from nearly 70,000 to 150,000 every year, even a dramatic increase in the figure of temporary migrants-primarily trained manpower & global students-was noticed.
During the previous 20 years, the nation of origin for the greatest number of migrants to the Kangaroo Land has, reportedly, moved from certain nations, such as the UK and South Africa, to India & China.
As per a 2016 Productivity Commission report, by 2060, Oz would have 40 million people on its territories, even as the nation’s migration rules would principally decide the future size of Down Under.
Since about 2005 migration has been a bigger propeller of population growth, vis-à-vis the babies being born in the nation. At present, migration is, reportedly, behind roughly 60% of the country’s population growth.