Australia to crack down on ‘significant abuse’ of immigration system

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Australia will address significant abuses of its visa system, the government said on Thursday, in a bid to crack down on human trafficking and other forms of organized crime.

The government will establish a division in the Department of Home Affairs to tackle abuses of the visa and migration system, funded with A$50 million ($31.48 million).

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Former police commissioner Christine Nixon highlighted in a January report “abuses of sexual exploitation, human trafficking and other organized crime” in the immigration system.

“The Nixon Review has identified significant abuse and misuse of Australia’s visa system,” immigration minister Andrew Giles said.

“By once again prioritizing integrity in immigration, we’re able to help protect vulnerable communities from exploitation, and make our visa system fairer for everyone.”

Long reliant on immigration to supply what is now one of the tightest labor markets in the world, Australia has proposed overhauling its system to speed up the entry of highly skilled workers and smoothening the path to permanent residency.

The government said in April the visa process for skilled professionals would be made quicker and easier, while steps would be taken to retain international students.

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