Disappointing but not surprising considering the Government’s recent position on immigration and migrants including significant delays to processing some permanent skilled visas and no job keeper or job seeker payments available to any temporary or provisional visa holders during Covid.
This is not only very unfair; it is going to damage Australia’s international reputation as a welcoming migrant country and a country that is supportive of new migrants/Australians.
The Australian Government including the PM and Treasurer say that immigration is very important to Australia’s economic recovery yet they are implementing migration reform that will make Australia less attractive than other migrant destinations like Canada and the US.
Amongst other things, this is likely to have a direct impact on Australia’s already declining birth rate, more so in Australia’s migration cohort and in regional Australia.
One of the biggest problems is migrants can’t vote (temporary residents or permanent residents) so they are a very easy and vulnerable target.
It will certainly have more of an impact on migration outcomes in areas where there are less jobs available and lower incomes, namely South Australia compared to Victoria and NSW.
I think more people will be impacted that estimated by the Department. There are many temporary and provisional visa holders in Australia who will be impacted by this.
It’s sending the wrong message, “we want skilled migrants, but we don’t want you to have children or start a family”.
With regards to 160,000 program numbers quoted in the Budget and this story – the Department could stop accepting new visa applications and still have enough pending applications in their pipeline to grant 160,000 visas for the next 1-2 years. I imagine that the Department will continue to restrict skilled migration applications allowing them to allocate more visa places to clear out their backlog/pipeline of spouse visa applicants.
In the Budget the Government have said they will spend $550 million over the next 4 years on the Global Talent visa, attracting talent and business from overseas, but then implement changes that restrict the ability for many people to start a family or for those with families to access much needed family support.
Not only this, it’s very hard for migrant families to start a family with very limited family support. It’s very difficult to get parents/grandparents to Australia for an extended duration to assist with helping raise children and without government support for at least 4 years, this is going to make starting a family very difficult.
What will potentially happen to single parent migrant women that will have no access to any type of government support or paid maternity leave in the event they have to stop work to care for their children.
All the best,