CANBERRA - The government of Australia has announced plans to reduce the intake of migrants by a whopping 50 percent in what appears to be a major blow to the foreigners and students eyeing to settle in the country.
The government has framed a 10-year policy to discourage migration and Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil said on Monday that the migration system had been left "in tatters" by the previous government.
The minister highlighted that a review earlier this year found the system to be "badly broken" — unnecessarily complex, slow and inefficient — and in need of "major reform".
O'Neil continued that the government would "bring numbers back under control" and reduce the annual migration intake by around 50%.
As part of the fresh reforms, the government has toughened English-language requirements for international students and increased scrutiny for those applying for a second visa.
Specifically, it has been reported that under the International English Language Testing System, students applying for a Graduate visa will need a score of 6.5 which was previously 6.0, while student visa applicants will need a 6.0 which was initially 5.5.
Elaborating on the reforms, the Home Minister said new policies will attract more of the workers Australia needs and help lessen the risk of exploitation for those who live, work and study in the country.
The Housing issue in the country has prompted calls for reducing the intake of migrants though the business community blames inadequate investment in affordable housing, alleging that the migrants are being used as a scapegoat.
In an official press release, the Home Office said the reforms focus on targeted skilled migration and new streamlined pathways for top global talent, higher standards for international students and education providers to drive quality in international education, visa settings to tackle worker exploitation and protect wages and conditions, support for regional Australia to get fast access to skilled workers and a new approach to migration planning to help return migration back to pre-pandemic levels and to get the right skills in the right places.
Though formalities in this regard would be completed soon, it is expected that the policies would stay in place at least for two years.
International students migrated to the country in large numbers in recent years and as per statistics, net immigration stood at 510,000 in 2022-23.
Pakistani currency remains momentum against US dollar in the open market on February 28, 2024 (Wednesday).
In the open market, the US dollar moves up and currently hovers at 282 for buying and 282.25 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303.1 for buying and 306.1 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.6 for buying, and 355.1 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.25.
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