Sydney, July 12
The Australian authorities says it can provide round 10,000 Hong Kong passport holders at present residing in Australia an opportunity to use for everlasting residence as soon as their present visas expire.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s authorities believes China’s imposition of a brand new powerful nationwide safety legislation on the semi-autonomous territory means pro-democracy supporters might face political persecution.
“That means that many Hong Kong passport holders may be looking for other destinations to go to and hence why we have put forward our additional visa options for them,” Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge informed Australian Broadcasting Corporation tv on Sunday.
“In order to obtain permanent residency, applicants would still have to pass “the character test, the national security test and the like,” Tudge mentioned.
“So it’s not automatic. But it’s certainly an easier pathway to permanent residency and of course once you’re a permanent resident, there’s then a pathway to citizenship there,” he mentioned.
“If people are genuinely persecuted and they can prove that case, then they can apply for one of our humanitarian visas in any case.”
Morrison introduced final week Australia suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and prolonged visas for Hong Kong residents from two to 5 years.
The transfer comes after China bypassed Hong Kong’s Legislative Council to impose the sweeping safety laws with out public session. Critics view it as an extra deterioration of freedoms promised to the previous British colony, in response to final 12 months’s huge protests calling for larger democracy and extra police accountability.
The nationwide safety legislation prohibits what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive or terrorist actions or as overseas intervention in Hong Kong affairs.
Under the legislation, police now have sweeping powers to conduct searches with out warrants and order web service suppliers and platforms to take away messages deemed to be in violation of the laws.
China’s overseas ministry mentioned it reserved the precise to “take further actions” in response to strikes by Canberra.
“The consequences will be fully borne by Australia,” spokesman Zhao Lijian informed reporters at a each day briefing on Thursday. — AP