Monday, October 26, 2020

The visa loophole that's allowing immigrants to 'permanently' stay in Australia - because it takes 50 YEARS to process the application

A special visa has a 50-year processing time, allowing immigrants to effectively stay in Australia indefinitely while they wait for it to be approved.

Craig Rookyard, 32, fled violence and crime in South Africa and moved to Perth to join his parents and sister in 2011.

Mr Rookyard paid $60,000 to complete a business degree at university but didn't qualify for a skilled visa when he graduated in 2013.

He then applied for the remaining relative visa, which allows people to become permanent residents of Australia to be with their close family members.

The visa waiting time was 12 years when Mr Rookyard applied in 2013 but it has since increased to 50 years, meaning he will be 75 years old when he finds out if he is granted residency in 2063.

While he waits, Mr Rookyard is on a bridging visa that allows him to stay in the country but without the benefits of permanent residents and citizens.

He has worked full time, paid taxes, bought a home in the Perth hills and got engaged to his Australian girlfriend while living here the last nine years.

Speaking to Nine News, Mr Rookyard said his visa situation is 'incredibly frustrating because I am Australian in every way but one'.

While Mr Rookyard is still on a bridging visa, his parents and sister have become permanent residents, bringing them one step closer to becoming citizens.

The 32-year-old has no family left in South Africa and doesn't want to return due to crime and violence.

'We were having a tough time there (South Africa) with the crime, we were getting constantly broken into, so we needed to get out quick,' he told Nine News.

'I guess my biggest worry is the uncertainty. We might elect a new government here - and they could say to all the people still waiting on that list – you are not residents here so we are going to cancel your (bridging) visa.

'That's my biggest fear because I don't want to go back to South Africa. I don't have anyone there anymore. My family is all here. Where would I go?'

Mr Rookyward was recently stood down from work during the COVID-19 pandemic but was not able to access JobKeeper like his colleagues since he is not a citizen.

The remaining relative visa is one of four visas in the Other Family category, which had only 500 places in 2019-2020.

The Department of Home Affairs website says 'there will be no further queue release for these visas during migration program year 2019-2020'.

'Current estimated processing time for Remaining Relative and Aged Dependent Relative visa applications that meet the criteria to be queued is approximately 50 years,' the website read.

Another visa with a long wait time is the non-contributory parent visa, which takes an estimated 30 years to process.

Mr Rookyard plans to marry his Australian fiancée in December and will apply for a partner visa afterwards.

The partner visa application will cost $8,000 plus thousands more for migration agent fees but comes with a shorter wait time of three years.

National anthem non-protest decision by Australia's Rugby team

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has confirmed the national men’s rugby side will not take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before their Bledisloe Cup match against the All Blacks next weekend.

Sporting teams and organisations around the world have opted to show support for the BLM movement since the death of George Floyd by taking a knee.

On Thursday, Wallabies fullback Dane Haylett-Petty revealed the Australian squad were considering a silent protest during the national anthem before their Test match against New Zealand in Sydney on Sunday, October 31.

The Wallabies would become the first Australian national side to take a knee during a national anthem if they went ahead with the silent protest.

“I think it’s great,” Haylett-Petty said. “I think sport has an amazing opportunity to have a say and join conversations and a lot of sports have done that and it would be a great thing for us to do.”

It led ex-Wallabies captain Nick Farr-Jones to speak out against the idea.

“To take the risk of basically splitting the support the Wallabies are starting to earn through their gutsy performances in Wellington and Auckland – just don't do it guys, it's too risky,” he told 2GB radio. “You run the risk that a few (viewers) would just turn off. They don't want to see politics in national sport. That's a real risk. I think it could be divisive. I don't think here in Australia that we have a major issue in relation to discrimination of coloured people."

Which led to a response from former player Gary Ella. “That's just stupid talk. That obviously shows that Nick doesn't have a full appreciation of the history of Aboriginal people in this country,” Ella said. “If you're talking about reconciliation, we're talking about sharing and acknowledging the history that we’ve come past and are working towards a better future. Those type of comments are totally ignoring the history."

On Friday, Rennie told reporters the Australian squad came to a “unanimous decision” not to perform the silent protest.

“We met with the leaders and then the leaders met with the rest of the team and it’s a unanimous decision,’ Rennie said. “The key thing is, this is about honouring our indigenous people and we want the focus to be on that.

“Everyone’s got their own opinions around the other situation, but we want the focus to be on reflecting on our history and our past.

“All I’ve said is that our focus is around the First Nations People and the indigenous jersey. We’re not looking to make a political statement.”

Euthanasia could deliver a blow to Labor’s chances to forming a minority government with a key crossbench party,

Katter’s Australian Party leader Robbie Katter, whose party could play a decisive role in picking the next government, has hit out at the Premier – saying her voluntary assisted dying pledge is all about politics.

He said his party did not have an official position on the issue, but he was personally opposed to euthanasia, pointing to his public record and the KAP’s voting history on issues like abortion.

“I just cannot see a scenario where we could align with anyone that would push that agenda,” Mr Katter said.

“I would find it enormously hard to align with anyone that would even contemplate pushing that agenda in the next parliament. That would make it very difficult for me personally. But I couldn’t say any more than that.”

He would not say if the issue would be a deal breaker, but said he was “not in the business of compromising my values every day”.

Mr Katter accused Ms Palaszczuk of taking advantage of a “highly sensitive, emotional issue” during an election campaign.

The Premier announced at her party’s campaign launch that a re-elected Labor government would introduce voluntary assisted dying legislation to the parliament in February.

The Queensland Law Reform Commission would be asked to report back sooner than March on the proposal, with Ms Palaszczuk promising to give her MPs a conscience vote.

Mr Katter acknowledged that there were some strong arguments for euthanasia, but is concerned that once legislated, the laws could change over time – referring to the “slippery slope argument”. “Most people haven’t … put a formal (party) policy together on it because the whole issue was parked up until the law reform commission report came back,” he said.

LNP leader Deb Frecklington has previously refused to say if she personally supports euthanasia, but has said no one should have to die in pain.

ABC news boss warns staff against focus on 'inner city left-wing elites'

ABC news boss Gaven Morris told staff they were too focused on the interests of "inner city left-wing elites" and linked his concerns about editorial coverage to the national broadcaster's ongoing funding from taxpayers.

In remarks made during staff briefings last week Mr Morris warned it would not bode well for the ABC's funding "if we're seen to be representing inner city elite interests", according to three people who were present.

The sources said Mr Morris disparaged "inner city left-wing elites" numerous times, telling staff he would be "happier if we spent less time on the concerns of the inner city elites and more time on the things that matter to central Queensland".

Mr Morris told The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age his remarks referred to the public's perception of the ABC and it was wrong for anyone to infer that he was suggesting government funding could be under threat if news coverage did not change.

"It's a value proposition back to taxpayers, back to Australians," he said. "If there is a perception in the community that we are more interested in the concerns and lives of inner city elites, then we need to work harder to make sure we are as relevant to people in central Queensland as we are to people in inner Sydney."

The broadcaster has made no secret it is focused on growing its audience in the outer suburbs and regions, which is an explicit goal of the news division's editorial strategy "More Relevant to More Australians".

But the ABC staff who spoke to The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age were concerned about how "harshly" Mr Morris articulated those priorities during the briefings, as well as the explicit link they felt he made between editorial content and the broadcaster's funding.

"The idea we would shape coverage to please our masters is very worrying," one person said.

Some of the sources agreed it was desirable to broaden the ABC's output but said this should be done when warranted by news value, not to change public perception or please the government. They complained Mr Morris' remarks were reminiscent of critiques of the ABC routinely made on Sky News "after dark" or in the editorial pages of The Australian.

According to the people on the call, Mr Morris did not directly mention climate change in his remarks, but his references to issues that were pertinent to Queensland were interpreted as a message the ABC was too focused on the dangers of climate change and not sufficiently interested in the loss of coal jobs, for example.

In response to questions, an ABC spokesperson said: "A couple of words from an hour-long briefing without the proper context is not an accurate summation."

The spokesperson said the goal of the editorial strategy "More Relevant to More Australians" was to expand the range of issues the broadcaster covers.

"ABC News already does excellent and comprehensive coverage of all aspects of climate change, and we'll keep doing that," they said.

"As well as that, we want to make sure we're doing an equally good job covering a whole lot of other issues that are also really important to people and affect their lives.

"The reference to Queensland was simply this: we need to keep working hard to ensure we're as appreciated by and relevant to people in central Queensland as we are to people in central Sydney if we're to provide value to all Australians."

Mr Morris has run the ABC's news, analysis and investigations division for five years, and oversees all the ABC's broadcast and digital news and current affairs output.




1 comment:

Paul said...

If there were any honesty in Government then Mr Rookyard should be able to apply for asylum as a White man who fled violence and racism against White people in South Africa, and he should get it. Instead we get infinity low-IQ Negros who all want asylum because they be all oppressed n'sheeit.