The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) of Australia is considering introducing mandatory provisional visas, on which migrants to the country have to spend a stipulated period before they can be granted permanent residency.
The DIBP released a visa transformation discussion paper and invited the public for submissions.
According to SBS Punjabi, one of the questions being examined in the discussion paper is as follows: should it be made mandatory for prospective migrants to spend a stipulated amount of time in Australia before they can be considered eligible for permanent residence? It also asks as to what other factors could be taken into consideration for the same.
Released on 31 July, the discussion paper states that the number of people applying for permanent residence in Australia had increased considerably during the last twenty years. It also mentions that in fiscal 2015-2016, about half of all the permanent visa recipients were people living already in Down Under on a temporary visa.
It is being considered that it would be in the country’s interest to ease the route for the most talented international students and skilled workers to get Australia’s permanent residency.
But for most the permanent visa categories, it is not mandatory for migrants to spend any time in Oz before are eligible for permanent residency. This, the discussion paper says, is not in tune with ‘like-minded countries’, including the US, the UK and the Netherlands, where a more formal evaluation process is in place and people should stay for some amount of time before those wishing to become permanent residents are assessed.
Maninder Singh Bhullar, who stayed on a temporary visa for two years before he was granted permanent residency earlier in 2017, felt that a mandatory stay period on a temporary visa would be subjecting the migrants to avoidable hardships.
He added that many employers were unwilling to hire him when he was on a temporary visa.
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