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Australian government considering putting migrants on probation before granting them Permanent Residency

Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton Source: aap

A proposal to alter Australia's visa system is likely to create double standards by treating migrants differently to Australian citizens.

Australian government is considering a major overhaul of the visa system and a major focus of the changes being considered, is going to be on putting migrants seeking Australian citizenship on probation.

On Wednesday, Fairfax Media reported about these changes and published a copy of leaked sensitive cabinet papers which state how the Turnbull government is hoping to save money by delaying welfare and benefits to migrants by putting them on probation before they are deemed fit for permanent residency and citizenship.

The proposed visa reforms lays out a plan for mandatory provisional visas before permanent residency and subsequently Australian citizenship can be granted.

It hopes to save money by cutting access to social security payments for “provisional” migrants.

However this cabinet paper points out the flaws of the proposal and states: “The proposed reforms could undermine Australia’s social cohesion and potentially increase the risk factors that may lead to violent extremism by creating a two tier society where migrants are treated substantially differently to Australian citizens.”

It also warns that reducing access to social security could be in breach of international obligations and that any savings “may not be as significant as DIBP expect”.

“Delayed access would have a particularly detrimental impact on the outcomes of the most vulnerable migrants, such as humanitarian entrants or those who experience domestic violence,” it says.

It also warns that the changes could be unpopular when half the Australian population was either born or has a parent born overseas.

These documents were prepared for Secretary of the Department of Social Services Finn Pratt by Evan Lewis, the Group Manager of Multicultural, Settlement Services and Community, Department of Social Services.