Immigration overflow: the systemic rorting of Australia’s visa system

The Australian Population Research Institute (APRI) has released an alarming new report entitled “Immigration overflow: why it matters”, which examines the widespread rorting of Australia’s visa system, as well as the crushing impact of Australia’s high permanent immigration program on Sydney and Melbourne.

The major findings from the report, which was authored by Dr Bob Birrell, Ernest Healy and Bob Kinnaird, are provided below:

Major findings
We highlight two issues. The first is the high and increasing numbers of IT professionals being granted 457 visas. They constitute by far the largest occupation group within the 457 program. Most are Indian nationals who are sponsored by Indian IT service companies. They have been successful in winning a major chunk of Australia’s IT consulting work on the basis of these 457 visa holders. They have succeeded in part because they are paying these professionals much lower salaries than the market rate for IT professionals in Australia.
The second issue is that the Australian government has persisted with a record high annual permanent migration intake of around 205,000, despite the weakening of the Australian economy since the end of the resources boom in 2012. This permanent intake is the major source of Australia’s very high rate of population growth. This is having a disastrous impact on Sydney and Melbourne where just over half of the migrants settle…
Any relationship that there was between skills recruited under the pointstested visa subclasses and shortages in the labour market has eroded. As to the qualities of the migrants selected, the selection system bar has been set so low that if any high skilled persons are visaed it is an accident.
It is currently the clearly stated Coalition Government policy to ignore the current state of the labour market when occupations are assessed for listing on the SOL. The SOL acts as smokescreen behind which the government’s real priorities are exercised.
The first of these is the achievement of its population growth targets. The second is to support the overseas student industry, whose recruitment strategies depend on these graduates having a strong chance of obtaining a permanent residence visa on completion of their course. To this end the points test has been crafted so as to ensure that applicants who have graduated from Australian universities are given priority…

The report notes how IT professionals, engineers and accountants (including auditors) are the key professions where foreign worker visas are being issued, despite these industries having significant surplus labour.

Read more: macrobusiness