The press in Australia has today picked up on the marked reduction in the number of business skills visa applications following the changes to business migration that were introduced in 2012.
“The Immigration Department has cast doubt on the viability of Labor’s overhauled business migration program, as legal experts branded the two-year-old scheme a “dismal failure” that prompted an “enormous decline” in new visas.
A joint parliamentary inquiry into the Business Innovation and Investment Program has heard the program, introduced in 2012 to raise the quality of business migrants, is plagued by slow processing, unpredictable outcomes and selection criteria that deter good candidates in a search for ideal, younger migrants.
Only 652 visas were granted over the first 21 months of the BIIP scheme, which awards applicants points depending on characteristics such as age, English level and wealth. That compares with 6790 in the final year of the system it replaced, the Business Skills Program. The department, in its submission to the inquiry, indicated the plunge in applicants “will make it increasingly difficult to maintain the number of business migrants as a proportion of the overall permanent migration program”.
“While there are sufficient applications under the previous business skills program to guarantee the 2013-14 program, the application rate may put the delivery of the 2014-15 program in question,” the submission read.”
Submissions to the inquiry are available here.
We anticipate improvements to be made to Australia’s business skills program as a result of this inquiry, as migration to Australia by business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs is clearly a desirable objective – watch this space for new information as it becomes known.