Student Path to Residency13 July 2020 by News Desk
The Australian government will offer Hong Kong international students a five-year post-study graduate visa after which they will be able to apply for permanent residency.
An estimated 10,000 Hong Kong folk in Australia – including temporary skilled workers – will be eligible for residency programs, as well as 2,500 that are overseas and 1,250 in the process of applying for visas.
Those already in the country on temporary graduate visas will be offered a five-year extension regardless of how much time they have already spent in Australia, while those who study at regional campuses will be eligible for permanent residency after three years.
“Australia has a long history of attracting Hong Kong’s best and brightest who have contributed significantly to our economic growth and job creation, and we are committed to ensuring this is further strengthened,” said Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison in a statement.
“That’s why Australia will introduce new measures for students, temporary graduates and skilled workers from Hong Kong who want to live, work and study in Australia.”
Following the passing of the Hong Kong National Security Law by Beijing, many Hong Kongers and business based in the city are looking for options to move abroad.
Australia’s actions are not without precedent. In 1989, then-prime minister Bob Hawke offered 42,000 Chinese students residency options in Australia in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Australia is not alone in its’ offer. The UK announced a path to permanent residency and citizenship for British National Overseas passport holders, which make up around half of Hong Kong’s seven million-strong population.
Hong Kong international students in London have reported that they are currently making arrangements to help their families emigrate, reporting a scramble to renew and apply for BNO passports at the British Embassy, where processing delays have further been exacerbated by Covid-19.
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