Survey Revealed: Majority of Australians Support Fair Path to PR for Migrants

The recently carried out survey of more than 1,000 Australians showed that 78 percent of respondents believe those who are living and working in Australia on temporary visas should have been awarded Permanent residency status. In this way, they can plan seriously and reassuringly for their future, and they will earn stability in the present lives.

The survey commissioned by the Human Rights Law Centre found that the majority of Australians showed their reasonable support for a secure and attractive pathway to permanent residency for the deserving migrants who have lived in Australia for significant numbers of years.

The recent survey of December showed that 58 percent of respondents believe that migrants help to fill skill shortages for certain jobs, and 33 percent believe they work in lower-paid jobs that Australians would not want to do. 54 percent believe that migrants bring cultural diversity and 24 percent believe they counteract Australia’s ageing population. 79 percent supported the view, “ If migrants have been living and working in Australia, then it is fair on them to put them on a pathway to permanent residency.” 55 percent agreed on the view, “Migrants should have the ability to plan for their future here no matter what type of visa they hold.”

David Burke, legal director of the Human Rights Law Centre said, “Everyone should have the chance to plan for the life they want. Everyone should have the chance to plan for the life they want. Two years of disruption to the country’s migration program due to the pandemic leaves Australia with an opportunity to “reset our approach to immigration.”

He added, “But the federal government’s visa system is keeping people in limbo and often unable to reunite with their family even when they have lived and worked here for years. These results show that people clearly recognise the injustice of policies that are leaving their neighbours, colleagues and friends stuck in uncertainty simply because of the visa they hold.”

Matt Kunkel, chief executive of the Migrant Workers Centre shared with SBS NEWS, “Australia’s migration system currently relies heavily on temporary visas. What we are really missing out on is an opportunity to provide migrants with the stability to plan for the future and provide them with a permanent form of visa that allows them to settle down and build community with the rest of us.”

He further said, “What we have seen with these temporary visas is really difficult circumstances for migrant workers in the workplace, but also a huge psychological toll of being permanently temporary – having to move from one temporary visa to another without the stability of settling down. The advantages of a system that allows people to come to Australia on a temporary basis is “one-sided” and lead to difficult outcomes for those looking to settle.”

He added, “Our political leaders should take steps to ensure this system reflects the values of the community by allowing migrants and refugees living in Australia to have a stable future.”

Migration to Australia has fallen sharply since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic owing to widespread travel bans and border closures, but it is expected to bounce back this year.

We would like to acknowledge with appreciation that this news was first published in SBS news.

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