A recent article by Jennifer Hewett in the Financial Review published on May 20, 2014 explains Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison’s reaction to opinions that business and investment visas are turning into ‘open slathers’.
Reviews are underway to expand the flexibility and responsiveness of Australian’s entire system of work and residency visa options, both temporary and permanent. Some of the reviews include:
- Expanding the categories of potential investments under the significant investor program. This could include approving some complying funds separate from the visa application, which would speed up the processing times.
- With regards to the 457 visa program there are speculations that the restrictions for some regional areas or some industries with larger shortages will be loosened up. If this goes through business will no longer be in breach of their conditions by bringing in more than the original number asked for in the nomination if they can demonstrate a need for workers and an inability to source them locally.
- English requirements could also be changed to reflect the type of visa being applied for – i.e. whether it’s a visa that is intended to transition into permanent residency or whether it is strictly temporary.
- There is also the prospect of a more standardised and mutual recognition of qualifications in the area of services.
These potential changes are all in line with the government’s plans to achieve a free-trade agreement with China by the end of the year. Under this agreement it is likely there will be more temporary provisions developed targeted at different categories of workers and managers, including working holiday visas for young Chinese.
If you would like more information about the significant investor visa please see our blog post.