Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil told Sky News that "most Australians would be pretty offended by the idea we've got a visa category here where effectively you can buy your way into the country” as a reference to what is often referred to as the ‘Golden Ticket’ visa. The visa is the Significant Investment Visa (SIV).
More than 2000 people have been granted one since 2012 of those 85 percent have come from China with $11 billion invested into Australian business. The visa stipulates that there is a minimum investment of at least $5 million in Australia to obtain such a visa.
Applicants are not required to speak or learn English and there is no age limit, these are requirements of most other visa categories.
The ABC reported that some areas of Australian business remained keen on the visa. However, it is a fair bet that Minister O’Neil is not after her remarks, and she has stated that she thinks the SIV has become a problem for the immigration system. The immigration program is due for a major shake up with a report and recommendations due by the end of February 2023.
“This is about making the big switch to an immigration program that demonstrates who we are and what we are about,” Minister O’Neil said. “This is a turning point in our history as momentous as the post war ‘populate or perish’ program that was the foundation of our post-war reconstruction, nation building and national security.
“Our immigration system can be a powerful promoter of Australia’s open, free, prosperous, democratic society around the world, so let’s start giving that system the love and care that it needs.”
The Albanese Government has had to look carefully at the whole immigration situation following what has been described as years of neglect by the former government. Changes have already been implemented with many more in the pipeline.
"We're going to do a very extensive review of that system and really question whether this very complex visa set of categories ... is the right way to run the immigration system," she told the media. "And I'll give you a clue, it's absolutely not."