Affluent Chinese denizens are grabbing over 70% of visas chosen for innovative overseas investors and entrepreneurs, increasing fears that the program could be a complete drag on the economy.
A report by the Productivity Commission on Australia’s admission of migrants detected that the ‘Business Innovation and Investment Program’, was undermined by a lack of ¬diversity. And conclusive data was required to discern whether taxpayers were finding it to be a drain on the economy.
The report additionally found that one-fifth of student visas were accounted for by China and it acquired about 17% of remittances from Australia, which had an overall boom from around USD 1 billion in the year 2000 to over USD 7 billion in 2013.
The BIIP, under which 6484 migrants were taken in between 2014-15, was mostly associated with small businesses…93% of which employed four or lesser people in 2010 — and were generally retail or service businesses that were much less likely to boost innovation.
According to the report - “More than 70 per cent of ¬immigrants are from the People’s Republic of China. The remainder come from a few other emerging economies. The lack of diversity reduces the likelihood that the program creates significant global linkages.
“The BIIP “may” have produced a net boost to the economy, ¬although not a large one,” it said.
“In fact, there is a risk that within the current design, the outcome could be negative … if most of the income and other economic benefits were appropriated by the ¬program users … while taxpayers had to fund the users’ lifetime costs of social security, health and aged care.”
The points test by BIIP is targeted at young adults with strong financial assets worth $800,000 to $2.25 million, and an annual turnover between $500,000 and $2 Million.
Even though the Chinese account for 70% of BIIP applicants, they only comprised of 14% of ¬permanent migrants and 10% skilled migrants in 2013-14.
Data uncovers that migrants from China are still far from being the most abundant arrivals. New Zealand and England still make up the highest numbers. Interestingly, the number of immigrants born in China, who currently live in Australia, has doubled between 1996 to 400,000 and represents less than 2% of the entire population.