New regional visas announced as immigration levels slashed
In order to ease congestion in Australia’s major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, and to distribute the population to regional areas, the Government will introduce regional visas that will require a minimum three years of residence in regional Australia as a necessary condition for their permanent residency. However, there are concerns these measures will make the road to permanent residency more difficult for those already in Australia on temporary visas.
23,000 visa places will be reserved for new skilled regional visas within the 160,000 permanent visas to be issued under Australia’s scaled back migration planning level, announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday.
The Government will also encourage international students to take up courses outside Sydney, Melbourne and Southeast Queensland in regional universities. 1000 scholarships of $15,000 each for local and overseas students have been announced as a measure to attract overseas students to the regions. Another incentive being offered to them is an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa.
Skilled migrants can accelerate their visa applications under new plan
Under the new initiative, skilled migrants in Australia will have their visa applications accelerated if they move to regional Australia. This $19.4 million plan will be used over four years which aims to solve congestion issues and population growth in Australia.
Priority processing will be given to visas sponsored by businesses in regional areas. At the same time, the Department of Home Affairs officials help local businesses in regional areas to employ more skilled workers.
On 29 November, the houses of parliament of Australia has passed the Modern Slavery Bill with reference to “trafficking and/or exploitation of children in orphanages”. The legislation of new law criminalize the act of orphanage trafficking, which is the inducement of children into orphanages as a form of slavery, such action will now be regarded as slavery and trafficking offence.
In accordance to data from Save the Children, in Australia, there are more than half of the univerisities promoting orphanage placements as an overseas volunteering opportunity. The legislation aims to tackle with the issue of children in developing countries being sent to institutions in order to meet demand for volunteering opportunity in the West.
According to the new statistics from Macquarie Bank, there seems to be an increase in the immigration to Australia again.
Refer to the overseas arrivals and departures data for August released by the ABS, there is an increase in the annual pace of net overseas migration in three-month annualised terms, which reach the tail-end levels of previous Australia’s second mining boom in this decade.
Although rates of permanent and long-term movements of overseas arrival and departure are not the most suitable source for understanding immigration statistics, the data has reasonable track statistics related to migration statistics of Australia. The data shows that the acceleration of net overseas migration may represent that there is an improvement in the Australian economy in the past year.
Economic growth rate at 3.4% above and beyond expectation
Australia’s economic growth rate is reported to be at a strong annual rate of 3.4% in the June quarter, which was above and beyond the expectation. Figures show the economy’s growth rate has increased by 0.9% over April, May and June, which was higher than the expected 0.7% in seasonally adjusted terms. The domestic demand has grown by 0.6%, in which domestic demand has contributed over half the growth in Australia’s GDP in June.
The increase in domestic demand was driven by the 0.7% growth in household spending, which reflected the strong consuming power of households in food, recreation and culture, and furnishings and household equipment. The wages and salaries have also risen by 0.7% in June quarter because of the increase in employment, to be 4.8% higher through the year.
Australian government encourages migrants to move to smaller regions
The Australian government is searching for ways to encourage new migrants to live and work in the regions, beyond Sydney and Melbourne. Other smaller regions include relatively smaller cities like Adelaide, Darwin, etc. 87% of the skilled migrants who arrived Australia last year has settled in these two cities, in which raises the government’s concern towards the potential pressure on housing and infrastructure to these cities.
The government is therefore seeking for programs to attract new migrants to these regions where there are demands for different particular skills. The change in immigration policies also aims to relieve the problem of decline in acute population and improve the geographic spread of population in Australia.
Australia is now the second biggest destination for oversea students
According to latest research from University College London, the number of international students in Australia continues to expand and it is now replacing the United Kingdom as the world’s second place for international students. The research says that Australia is now attracting more students from outside Europe, especially from China.
Australia has started to brand the country as an English-speaking country in recent years. It has been focusing on promoting its high-performance universities. Moreover, it has been marketing the country as a place with good climate conditions, multicultural and welcoming culture for overseas students. This year, Melbourne and Sydney have been ranked as in the Top 10 Best Student Cities.
About 10,000 millionaires, with personal wealth higher than US 1 million, have migrated to Australia last year in 2017, making Australia the millionaires’ choice of migration destination for the third year. According to a report, these high-net-worth individuals, mainly from China, India and United Kingdom, were lured by the proximity to Asia, safeness, political stability and the absence of inheritance taxes of Australia. This benefits the businesses based in Australia to doing business in China and Japan.
Australia was ranked as the top country in the world which is the safest country for women in 2018. Also, it’s ranked as the 9th-wealthiest country in world. Australia has a private wealth of US $6.142 trillion, and it is forecasted that it will overtake Canada and France to be the 7th-wealthiest country in 10 years.
Australia Government Increases Budget to Improve Aged-care Services
The recent Australia federal budget has revealed the government's plan to change pension work bonus. The new budget allows older Australians to work more without reducing their pension payments. It also expands the access to the pension loans scheme in order to reduce equity from their home so as to boost their income.
The government will spend $1.6bn over four years for the plan to create 14,000 home-care places for the elderly, and to show their support to the individual choice of elderly to stay at home, and avoid moving to residential aged care.
It is also announced that the government will spend $146m to improve the access to aged-care services in rural and regional areas. $83m will be spent to increase the support for mental health services in residential aged care. Also, $20m more will be spent over four years in a pilot project which targets the population which is at risk of isolation.
The migrants contribute to the annual average GDP growth
The joint research conducted by Treasury and the Department of Home Affairs of Australia has dispelled the concern about the need to cut immigration. The paper, released on 17 April 2018, cites International Monetary Fund’s estimation on the effect of migration program in Australia. It states that the program will add up to 1% to annual average GDP growth from 2020 to 2050 because it focuses on skilled migrants of working age, which alleviate the economic impact of the country’s ageing population. As the focus on skilled migrants of working age improved Australia's productivity, the skilled migrants contributed to Australia’s growing wealth and increased the GDP per capita. The report added that migrants, especially the skilled migrants, are not living on the welfare of jobs. Instead, they are likely to contribute more to tax revenue than they claimed in government support. "In the absence of migration, Australia's workforce would begin shrinking in absolute terms by 2020." the report said.
Darwin's multiculturalism hoped to solve its sluggish population growth
With around 30% of its residents born overseas, Darwin in Northern Australia is now a highly multicultural area, attributed to expanding size of the Nepalese, Nigerian and Japanese communities. While the population outflow has been vigorous, the northern territory has also been urging the government to allocate more resources to support the newly arrived immigrants, so that the skilled workers would prefer continual of living in Darwin rather than interstate migration.
Along with the friendly and warm welcoming attitude of the locals, the concerted efforts of the territory to retain the professionals will hopefully be successful.
14 March 2018
Chinese Student Enrolment Challenges
Impacted by the recent conflicts concerning the diplomatic relations between Australia and China, the enrolment rates of the Australian universities may be negatively affected. Together with increasingly restricted issue of offshore visa permits and intense competition with the UK and the US education providers, it is likely that Australian universities will face a phase of slower growth in university applications from Chinese. In face of the reduction in offshore visa grants,
potential young immigrants should consider apply for visas as soon as possible. This could also pave way for obtaining onshore visa applications and citizenship later on.
In pursuance of a more prosperous economy, the Australian Government would like to attract foreign entrepreneurs and investors into the state, that a new visa would be introduced. The exciting announcement of the new visa has brought hope to many who envision their life in this country as having an excellent quality of life.
The acquisition of it seems easier than ever, as the applicants need a state-of-the-art idea and a well-structured business plan, as well as be equipped with vocational level English, which means obtaining band 5 in each four parts of the International English Language Testing Service ( IELTS).
Permanent residence could possible be achieved too, once the flourishing business venture has developed. This new visa, definitely, sows the seed of an Australian immigration dream.