The Australian government would sell the right to immigrate to Australia as a complement to the skilled migration programme under radical proposals being examined by the independent think tank of the government. The Productivity Commission is investigating a cost-based immigration process that will use entry fees as the principal determinant for who gains entrance to Australia.
But the propositions have alarmed business groups and unions, who say handling skills shortages should stay the focus of the immigration policy in Australia. Ethnic community groups say they would oppose any moves that would prevent poorer immigrants from re-uniting with their loved ones. Permanent residency visas are issued by the Australian migration system to other people: those with particular abilities; those with families in Australia.
In its issues paper, the Productivity Commission canvasses two options to introduce an “immigration fee”: setting a price, with the size of the consumption ordered by demand; or establishing a limit on the consumption and letting demand to order the price of entrance. The commission notes there will also be middle ground options including enabling a capped variety of places to be allocated with a bid procedure. By allowing them to borrow against future anticipated gains or by introducing a loans program, the inability of several hopeful immigrants might be dealt with. The minister for immigration said the report is merely designed to examine all of the options and does not represent any firm proposals at this stage.