Economic Participation Key to Australia's Immigration Plan
The Australian Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison admitted that constant changing of rules and moving goalpost for visa holders and employers adds to uncertainty, making it difficult for them to decide on investing, working or studying in Australia. Speaking at the Migration Conference, organised by the Migration Institute of Australia, Mr Morrison pledged to ensure stability in the visa policies and procedures to make Australia an attractive destination.
Australia has an immigration tradition
Australia’s immigration history means that the country will always welcome skilled and eager migrants. This includes skilled workers under the 457 visa program, marred by allegations of misuse by many employers. Data recently released, by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that Indians are the fastest-growing ethnic communities in Australia. Indian firms, however, particularly IT companies have been under fire from the Australian media for allegedly misusing the provision of 457 visa program for sidestepping Australians, and recruiting skilled employees from India at lower wages.
“Immigration has been Australia’s experience since the modern birthplace of the nation. We all have an immigrant story that we connect to and I think if we can all see ourselves and our heritage and our ancestry along those lines it will much better assist us to connect to each other as Australians, as immigrants with an immigrant heritage and an immigrant history,” Mr Morrison said.
Shifting goalpost creates uncertainty
Mr Morrison admitted that constant changing of rules and moving goalposts for visa holders and employers creates a sense of uncertainty among them.“That uncertainty discourages skilled workers, foreign investors, and students from making the decision to study or invest or work in Australia. The integrity of our immigration policies and the capacity of our systems to ensure compliance are more important now than ever,” the minister said.
Economic participation is key motive
“Australia’s experience and indeed our success as an immigration nation over time has been based fundamentally on our commitment to the economic participation of migrants at all levels. We have always valued the involvement of migrants in our economy and under the Coalition this will continue,” said Morrison. Migrants have a key role to play in the economic development of Australia and their continued participation in the process of nation-building is important.
“We want to bring people to Australia who add value and make a contribution to society.Australia as a country is also akin to the USA in that it seeks to attract or seek out immigrants. And, like the US, too, it seeks to attract primarily skill-based immigration. The country believes its success and future as a country hinges on continuing to attract, bring in and integrate new skilled migrants into its society."Emphasising, further, that immigration for Australia is an economic policy and not a welfare policy, Mr Morrison added: “The permanent employer sponsored migration programme plays a pivotal role in ensuring that businesses right across the country, regardless of where their workplace is, can find skilled workers to fill genuine vacancies.”
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