The Australian minister claims that it should be more difficult to get a permanent residence visa
Posted in: Migration News by Rob on 27/07/2018
In a move that has led to great consternation for thousands of migrants, a minister has announced a further tightening of the visas granting permanent residence in Australia
Alan Tudge, the Minister of Citizenship, claims that too many migrants receive a permanent residence permit before entering the country.
According to statistics on Buymelbourneapartments.com.auAustralia issued around 162,000 PR visas last year – well below the annual limit of 190,000 places and the lowest entry volume in 10 years. This means that the housing crisis we are all constantly hearing about is dramatically overrated. There is plenty of room for everyone.
However, this has not stopped the government rhetoric, but is reinforced in the run-up to the by-elections on Super Saturday this week.
The minister said that about half of the flow had granted visas for temporary visas after years in Australia, but the other half "received full permanent residence permits before ever setting foot in Australia."
"This is less ideal and something that requires further consideration".
The permanent migration flow accounts for around two thirds of qualified visas and one third of family visas for their children, parents and spouse. Mr Tudge said offshore applicants are a "challenge" because "information about individuals is sometimes difficult to obtain from abroad".
Migrants are already required to sign a statement of value when they become Australian citizens, but the Turnbull government has long argued for a stricter approach.
The government's controversial citizenship reforms, which were blocked in the Senate last year, have introduced a new test of Australian values and a stricter English exam.
However, the high-ranking ministers of the coalition have consistently promised another reform attempt for 2018.
Earlier this month, Mr Tudge suggested developing a new spoken English test for all migrants seeking permanent residence, possibly for refugees, rather than just citizens.
"We value Australian values as the glue that holds the nation together," Tudge said Thursday.
"We do this by obliging people to sign a statement of value before coming to Australia, passing a citizenship test and promising allegiance before becoming a citizen.
"The downside, however, is that we currently have few mechanisms to rate people based on their signed statement."
Mr. Tudge did not comment on the possible mechanisms.
"We must constantly promote our values in a muscular way: freedom of expression and religion, equality between men and women, democracy and the rule of law, fair conditions for all, assumption of individual responsibility," he said.
The government's first attempt to push citizenship reform was blocked by Labor, the Greens, and key crossbenchers of the now renamed Nick Xenophon Team.
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese criticized Mr. Tudge for going overseas and "discussing our country". He referred to the Minister's comments that migrants are not integrating as well into society as they used to.
"The fact is, we have an incredibly successful multicultural nation," he said.
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