16 Dec 2016

Possible probation period before permanent residency

Government papers have been leaked which could reveal possible changes to put migrants on probation before being deemed fit for permanent residency and Australian citizenship.

The papers, published by Fairfax Media, were prepared for a meeting between the Department of Social Services and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and reveal how the Turnbull government hopes to save money by delaying welfare and benefits to permanent residents, such as social security payments which become accessible once Australian citizenship is granted.

The paper says, “This proposal has the potential to fundamentally change access to social security payments for newly arrived migrants, who already serve a waiting period before access to government services.”

The papers also mention the creation of a new category of migrants, referred to as ‘provisional migrants’. Fairfax Media reports that visa holders placed in the new category would find it more difficult to obtain a direct pathway to permanent residence and subsequently, Australian citizenship.

National Security Committee and Cabinet discussions over the proposal’s potential flaws were also documented in the papers, with warnings that reduced access to social security could be in breach of international obligations and that the reforms could create double standards by treating migrants differently to local residents. Questions were also raised as to whether the savings will be as significant as The Department of Immigration and Border Protection expect.

The news seems to confirm Immigracious’ concerns that the Australia’s permanent skilled migration rules may be tightened as part of the Immigration Department’s proposed overhaul of the current visa system.

Read our post on the Labor party’s plans to tighten 457 visa rules. Or if you would like further information, contact us at

Source: SBS News and The Sydney Morning Herald.

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Visas


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