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Major Reorganization of Australian Visa System Required, Asserts Advisory Body

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As per a proposal report from the Productivity Commission, the Australian Government’s independent research and advisory body, though immigration is the foundation of the nation’s economic interests, it is vital to improve the present visa arrangement, to better target the type of individuals that the nation requires.

While the visa scheme should target younger, more trained persons with better English skills, some specific visas--like special investment visas, which provide a path to the prized residency to the overseas people in return for a least amount cash investment--ought to be brought to an end, adds the proposal.

The recommendations also say there ought to be tighter checks on the family reunion visas. The report elucidates that the present skilled migration scheme falls short of producing the finest outcomes for the society of Oz. It does not adequately target migrants who are younger, more trained, and who have advanced English language ability.

The report indicates that the weaknesses in the present arrangement comprise allowing provisional skilled manpower, duly nominated by recruiters/job-providers, to receive Permanent Residency (PR), minus facing a skills test. The report recommends starting a single universal points test for every aspirant and introducing a condition for English language skill.

Despite the fact that the Significant Investment Visa plan has created 7.4 billion dollars of investment from 1,483 people of whom 90% were Chinese since it was introduced in November 2012, the commission reportedly stated this kind of scheme was vulnerable to fraud and warned it resulted in immigrants with poorer English language expertise, and an older age profile.

Taken as a whole, the case for hanging on to the Significant and Premium Investor Visas plans is pathetic, even as Canada closed down a comparable investment visa plan last year.

The report is an outcome of the administration asking the commission to study if Down should shift from its points based skilled migration scheme to the one based chiefly on charging migrants for visas, and curbing access to administration supports.

Even though the report estimates that a price-based arrangement may save the administration 20 billion to 25 billion dollars, it advocates against putting into operation one with the reason being the same may lower the average educational level of migrants, result in a drop in the figure of the qualified migrants with high English language skill, and knock integration hopes.

It also questions if the present high levels of immigration are necessary over the long term, thanks to the pressures which new migrants put on the cost of land and accommodation, and also their effect on local infrastructure and services.

It says these effects ought to be mulled over at the time of deciding the migrant intake and notes community gains depend on drawing the immigrants who are younger and more trained and policies that are receptive to economic, social and environmental situations.

It also puts forward that some of the regions for improvement relate to improving the integration of immigrants once they are in the country, including through more effective settlement services, and steps to lessen the risks of immigrant worker misuse.

But, the biggest gains to Australia are expected to come from recalibrating the intake of the permanent trained immigrants. It would comprise ‘raising the bar’, via shifting to a universal points test while tightening admission conditions. And it advocates getting rid of the utmost 50-year age bar for trained movement.

It also says that there is a strong case for a considerable increase in the visa pricing in relation to some elements of the family reunion stream, to recoup not less than a portion of the high fiscal costs classically linked with immigrants in this stream.

It puts forward that the administration ought to double the 55,000 dollar charge for the Parent Reunion Visas to assist equalize the gigantic price to the taxpayers of what are typically older, untrained and non-English-speaking arrivals.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) reportedly stated that Peter Dutton, the in-office Immigration Minister, is considering the proposals and plans to proffer a comprehensive reply in due course of time.

 

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