Time for Turnbull to play the migration card

There are only three ways Australia can pay its public debt. Either both sides of politics agree there will be no new net spending until such time as the national debt has been dealt with, or deny the vote to all those who pay no taxes. Neither of these will come to pass; they are…

What’s behind Australia’s new immigration rules?

The announcement that a new maternity hospital in Dublin may be managed by a religious order is generating much disquiet in Ireland; but here in secular Australia, a more secular controversy about this country’s proposed immigration reforms is raging. Last week, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a tightening of the criteria for migrants seeking to…

Heavy tourist rush pushes Australia visa processing time to one month

Unlike visas of most countries, bagging an Australian stamp on the passport has always involved a long wait. Over the past few weeks, visa-processing time for this destination Down Under has only increased; it now takes a month. On March 31, the Australian High Commission sent a letter to travel agents saying that the visa…

Thai student drowned while rock fishing in Australia

A 23-year-old Thai student drowned yesterday while rock fishing after being swept into the water by a large wave at the popular Blue Fish Point of Watsons Bay in New South Wales, the Daily Telegraph online reported. The article quoted police in identifying the victim as Aphirat Nepang, who was in Australia on a student…

Australian 457 visa changes bringing in more restrictions

The Australian government made up of the Liberal-National coalition has announced that it will cut the amount of time foreign workers on 457 visas can remain in the country once their employment term comes to an end. This makes it more difficult for overseas workers on 457 visas to find another job in Australia.  The…

Australia considering a tougher citizenship test, confirms Immigration Minister

Instead of answering the basic questions about Australia’s political structure, parliament, election and perfunctory duties of a citizen, Australian citizenship aspirants may now have to deal with a more specific test that reportedly aims to examine whether they have integrated with the Australian way of life and the social values. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said revamping…

Australia introduces ‘fast track service’ for Indian visa applicants

The Australian High Commission in India has announced that Indian visa applicants can now avail Priority Consideration Service (Fast Track) in India for additional fees. From 5 December 2016, Indian applicants applying for a Subclass 600 Visitor visa, both the Tourist and Business Streams, at selected Australian Visa Application Centres (AVACs) in India will be able…

Proportion of Indian IT workers on 457 visas on rock bottom pay triples

The proportion of IT professionals from India granted 457 visas and paid base salaries of $53,900 or less, much lower than experienced Australian IT professionals, has tripled under the Coalition government, a study has found. The Australian Population Research Institute has found that IT professionals are the largest single occupation represented in the 457 program…

Australian startups need more diversity to thrive, not closed borders

In recent weeks, both major political parties have proposed tougher restrictions on Australia’s 457 visa system, which allows businesses to sponsor skilled foreign workers for up to four years. The timing, so soon after the election of the outspokenly anti-immigrant President-elect Donald Trump in the U.S., has shades of political opportunism. It also comes amid…