The Australian government is seeking views and opinions on Australia’s future visa system through its Policy Consultation Paper - Visa Simplification: Transforming Australia’s Visa System.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is inviting submissions to make Australia’s visa system, more responsive to country’s economic, social and security interests.
“While our visa system has served the nation well, it needs modernising,” the website says.
“Australia’s visa system is in many respects an artefact of a bygone era and is ill suited to this future. The visa system is highly complex, with 99 individual visa types.
“This makes it difficult for visitors and other entrants to navigate and understand, and challenging for the Government to administer. It also affects Australia’s attractiveness as a destination of choice for some travellers.
“Australia needs a visa system that is easier to understand, better suited to the rapidly growing number of visitors, and flexible enough for Australia to remain a competitive destination for temporary visitors and the longer-term entrants Australia needs.”
The key areas of consideration will be reducing the number of visas from 99 at present to approximately 10 visas, the delineation between temporary entry and long-term/permanent residence, the role a period of provisional residence could play in enhancing the integrity of the visa system and easing the burden on taxpayers; and ensuring that the visa system supports Australia as a competitive and attractive destination for temporary and longer-term entrants.
“Should a prospective migrant spend a period of time in Australia before becoming eligible for permanent residence? What factors should be considered?” is one of the questions the discussion paper is examining.
The discussion paper says the current visa policy is inconsistent with “like-minded countries”, such as the UK, the Netherlands and the US that have a more formal assessment process and period for evaluating those who seek to stay permanently.”
The responses will be used to inform advice to Government on a future design of Australia’s visa system.
The department would like to hear what you think are the most important considerations in building a modern visa system and has released a policy consultation paper to support stakeholders in developing their responses.
They would like to hear about:
- What would a system with approximately 10 visas look like?
- What factors should we consider when simplifying the visa system?
- What should be the key characteristics of a simplified and flexible visa system?
- What distinctions should apply to temporary and permanent visas?
- What requirements should underpin a migrant’s eligibility for permanent residence?
- Should a prospective migrant spend a period of time in Australia before becoming eligible for permanent residence? What factors should be considered?
- What role does the visa system play in ensuring Australia remains attractive to the best and brightest temporary and permanent migrants?
- Do you think an efficient visa system that is simple to understand and quickly assesses risk will make Australia a more attractive destination? Why?
- To what extent should the Government collect biometrics from visa applicants?
You can provide your views to the Department through their online web form. Submissions can be provided until 15 September 2017.