World

Review of Aussie visa rules for rich

SYDNEY: Australia will this year review visa rules for wealthy would-be migrants, mostly Chinese, a government official said yesterday, as the country tightens requirements for granting residency rights.

He did not elaborate on the changes under review but hinted at the need to be proficient in English.

The announcement comes only days after Australia axed a temporary work visa popular with foreigners, replacing it with a tougher programme, and raised the bar for attaining citizenship.

Nearly 90 per cent of applicants for the Significant Investor Visas are Chinese who need to bring in a minimum A$5 million (S$5.3m) to become eligible for Australian residency.

"The programme has to be designed to meet the Australian economy's needs. You will have the opportunity to directly have a say in the review and your feedback will be considered by the department," Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said at a Chinese In Australia seminar in Sydney.

"The expectation from the Australian community is that migrants have competent English. I don't think that is unfair."

Australia has seen the rise of nationalist, anti-immigration politics with far-right parties such as One Nation garnering strong public support. - REUTERS

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