Hong Kong nationals in Australia to get new specialized roads for permanent residence

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Under one route, people who have lived in regional areas of Australia could apply after three years, while others are eligible after four years of local residence through a separate visa offer.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said the Australian government had fulfilled an obligation to provide a road to permanent residence for people from Hong Kong.

“These new visas will pave the way for temporary graduates and temporary skilled workers from Hong Kong who are currently in Australia with extended visas,” he said.

“[It] will build on already close family ties and economic ties to Hong Kong, which have existed for many years. ”

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Holders of both Hong Kong and British National Overseas passports will be eligible for permanent residence.

Subclass 191 – The Hong Kong (regional) stream will focus on those who have lived, worked or studied in regional areas, while subclass 189 Hong Kong stream will be open to other applicants. The visas would make it possible to include relatives.

China introduced a national security law on June 30 last year in response to widespread anti-government protests in 2019 across the city.

The law, drafted by China, aims to punish subversion secession, terrorism and cooperation with foreign forces.

Since the implementation of the Security Act, the Hong Kong authorities have cracked down on freedom of expression and protests with many pro-democracy activists and politicians imprisoned or forced into exile.

The Australian Government has expressed deep concern over China’s law enforcement measures, which it has described as vaguely defined and a threat to freedom.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced in July last year that visas would be extended for about 10,000 Hong Kong citizens studying or working in the country in response to the extensive powers.

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The security scheme had allowed these Hong Kong citizens to extend their stay for five years with a path to permanent residence after that time.

Sir. Hawke said the “dedicated” and “simple” visa flows for Hong Kong citizens would also help attract skills and talent to Australia.

“[It will] help increase productivity and create additional job opportunities for Australians, ”he said.

Justin Hayhurst, assistant secretary of the State Department’s Indo-Pacific Group, said last week in the Senate’s estimates that Australia was concerned about the “systematic unraveling of democratic institutions” in Hong Kong.

Authorities in China and Hong Kong have repeatedly refused to restrict human rights and freedoms.

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