In its submission to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Migration Program for 2014-15, the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) recommended increasing the family migration intake.
Currently the Migration Program intake ratio is 67 per cent skilled and 32 per cent family.
ECCV chairperson Eddie Micallef said while the skilled migration program had economic benefits, the family migration program provided important social, cultural and economic benefits.
“Family migration not only helps the wellbeing of their related skilled migrants, but also boosts the overall workforce through skilled migration, as people often choose partners with similar skills and professional qualifications,” Mr Micallef said.
A 2011 Department of Immigration and Citizenship survey indicated that a significant proportion of family migrants find employment contributing to labour market growth and the Australian economy.
“Furthermore, the wellbeing of skilled migrants to a large extent depends on them being reunited with close family members from overseas, as family can provide social and cultural support as well as playing a role as carers. Processing delays of family visas increase the burden of social isolation and inhibit the participation in society for many skilled migrants already living in Australia.” said Mr Micallef
The ECCV submission also recommended a more efficient system to process the backlog of family and partner claims, and to explore a solution to easing the burden of excessive migration fees.
“While the ECCV welcomes the opportunity to present a submission on the size and composition of the settlement program, we believe it’s important to be able to provide further policy input into settlement issues closely related to the migration journey of people from culturally diverse backgrounds,” Mr Micallef said.
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