The Federal Government has unveiled a plan that will settle new migrants in regional areas for up to five years after their arrival in Australia.
Minister for Population and Cities, Alan Tudge laid out his plans to bust congestion in Australia’s biggest cities- Melbourne and Sydney
It was first reported in August this year that the Morrison Cabinet was considering a proposal to introduce a mandatory regional settlement plan for some migrants, including skilled and family stream, that was due to go before Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet before he was deposed.
The recent figures of the Department of Home Affairs reveal that a vast majority of newly arrived migrants- 87% are currently settling in Sydney and Melbourne.
Under the proposal, new migrants will be asked to settle in regional areas struggling with low population and other capital cities outside the Victorian and NSW capitals.
Immigration Minister David Coleman said on Monday that some regions of Australia want more migrants.
The issue of regional distribution is a very important one. It is clearly an area in the system where there’s room for improvement,
We want to ensure that where there’ s a gap in the system, where immigration is not providing people to those rural and regional areas, that to the greatest extent we fix that.
The logic behind a mandatory five-year settlement in regional areas is said to be that once a migrant has spent this period in an area, they are likely to continue to stay there after having established ties with the community, their employment etc.
Immigration certainly impacts on Australia’s population to a greater degree than most Western nations. Among OECD countries, only Switzerland and Luxembourg have a higher percentage of foreign-born people than Australia.
Australia has many visas, including 489 Skilled (Provisional), Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (187) and Skilled Regional (Permanent) 887 – that are designed to encourage migrants to regional areas.
Currently, most states running their own migration programs support visa applications of migrants with the condition that they live and work for two years in those states, for some visas- in designated areas.
However, most new migrants tend to move to either Sydney or Melbourne as soon as they get permanent residency. Under some circumstances, permanent migrants sponsored by some states are allowed to move to other states within the first two years.
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