Scott Morrison, the current Prime Minister of Australia has announced a new immigration policy as per which there will be a substantial reduction in the number of immigrants every year from 1,90,000 to 1,60,000. This is the immigration target for Australia PR visa as per him in the coming 4 years. There will also be skilled worker visas with a limit of 23,000 and PR will be allotted to those who have lived in certain regions for 3 years. The Australian government has invited 162,417 immigrants through the PR visas in 2018. The major reason behind this immigration cut is that due to more immigrants choosing to live in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, there have been problems such as congestion on roads.
Business community not happy with the change
However, the business community of Australia is not happy with this reduction in the number of immigrants. The Migration Council Australia has already condemned the decision to reduce immigration saying that there will be a reduction in economic growth by reducing immigration numbers. Australia had a higher number of immigration limits so far. The quota was 1,90,000 which was divided between skilled work visas and visas catering to a family reunion. In May 2018, all the business communities had come to the conclusion that the PR intake should be at 1,90,000. This Meeting consisted of business communities such as the Australian Council of Trade unions and the famous group called Australian Industry. He said that the immigration if often less than the limits set for it. The chief of the AI group has said that the migration levels had been reduced to 1,60,000 which was less than the numbers which were invited in 2017-2018. In April, the Australian chamber of commerce has also criticized the government’s decision to reduce immigration numbers because it leads to lesser availability of skilled labor force.
Live in regional areas for 3 years to get PR
The government wants more population to shift to the rural areas, so if anyone broke the law by shifting to bigger cities, the PR status would be denied to them. They would have to live in regional areas for 3 years to get PR. Australian chamber of commerce and industry had also criticized the decision to reduce the number of skilled visas because it believes that the number of eligible occupations is getting decreased for which immigrant force is actually needed in Australia. Earlier the plans were to reduce the immigration number from 1,60,000 to 1,10,000 but Morrison who was not Prime Minister then had criticized the decision saying that there would be a fiscal deficit if immigration was reduced so much. The government is also going to check more diligently the applications made for PR. There have been cases in the past when the applicants have presented fraudulent PR applications consisting of fake education.
In 2017-2018, there has been a decrease in the family visas issued. This is because the government does not want to invite anyone who is in a fake relationship. There has been a decrease of 20,000 immigrants invited under family visas. The leader of the Labor Party Anthony Albanese had supported this change and said it was welcome.