Posted July 15, 2018 15:13:10When it comes to immigration, Australia’s government is at a crossroads.
For years, it has promised to reduce the number of visas issued for skilled migration to Australia, but it has yet to deliver on that pledge.
As a result, there are now around 700,000 people who would have had access to a visa before EB 5, the visa program that was rolled out in November 2020.
While that has allowed many Australians to escape poverty, the Government has also been criticised for allowing the 457 visa program, which was introduced in 2013, to become a temporary residence visa.
The 457 visa allows a foreign national to temporarily live and work in Australia, provided that they have been in Australia for less than six months.
The Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship says that is one of the reasons why it has been able to lower the number visa applications.
The number of applications has been cut from nearly 5,000 to around 200,000 in the past two years, the department says.
But while that has resulted in a reduction in applications, it also has resulted from a spike in visa applications in the last year.
Immigration lawyer Peter McCreary says the rise in the number applications is a direct result of the Government’s promise to reduce EB 5 visas.
“We see a dramatic increase in the applications for EB 5 in recent months,” Mr McCreery said.
“There’s a lot of concern about the numbers that are coming in.”
“It’s been an issue of public confidence in our immigration system, and I think there’s a general sense that it’s been over-stretched, and there’s been a lack of focus on the needs of Australians.”
But he says there is another, more pressing issue.
“The number that’s been coming in from overseas in recent years is the kind of visas that are going to be needed to provide for a family, and it’s not the kind that we’re seeing coming in on EB 5.”
Mr McCreay says that the number is now coming in for those who have come to Australia from overseas and want to come here permanently.
“That’s the sort of visa that’s coming in that’s actually going to provide a pathway for them to permanent residency,” he said.
That’s why EB 5 is one issue that is being raised in the lead-up to the 2020 election.