Don’t privatise Australia’s visa system

Yesterday, we reported how migration groups have attacked the Morrison Government’s plan to privatise Australia’s visa processing system, claiming that will create “major systemic risks” and is a “disaster in the making”.

Today, former Department of Immigration deputy secretary, Abul Rizvi, has again warned that privatising Australia’s visa system opens Australia’s to “immense risks” and is contrary to the public interest. From The AFR:

A former senior Immigration Department executive has warned of “immense” risks from outsourcing of visa processing…

“The Prime Minister and the minister for immigration must be open with the Australian public on the business case, risk management plan and key performance indicators for privatisation before signing any contracts”, Mr Rizvi said…

“The contract must also expressly prohibit introduction of a premium service channel; sale or use of data for any commercial purposes; and use of the IT platform to direct users to other commercial service providers”…

“If the privatisation proceeds, the contract must include a pathway and mechanism for the government to re-acquire the IT platform at reasonable cost, if the privatisation fails…

As noted yesterday, the United Kingdom privatised its visa processing in 2014 and has since been embroiled in numerous scandals, including widespread exploitation, ripping-off applicants, and making the visa system ‘pay-to-win’.

The fact of the matter is that Australia’s immigration numbers cannot realistically be controlled when a profit motive is added that effectively turns the visa system into a quantity-based business. We have seen what happens with the education industry and international students, with universities destroying entry and teaching standards in order to pump through as many full-fee paying students as possible.

Blind Freddy can see that privatising Australia’s visa system carries immense risks. The monopoly provider will inevitably raise costs to pad their profits, the visa system will be turned into ‘pay-to-win’, and Australia’s borders will become even more porous.

The Morrison Government must abort from this crazy plan.

Leith van Onselen


    • not Dutton, this is Scott Morrison’s pet project from way back………..all in the name of privatising essential core Government services. The Privacy Act will become the legal battleground but hey if you click ‘yes I agree and proceed’ you forfeit all privacy of your data. Think of all those overseas applicants who have no idea what Privacy is and WAS in the domain of individual freedom……but hey this LNP Government isn’t about regaining freedoms Australian’s have lost to them, it is about complete fascist control of the individual.

  1. I’m fairly sure that the processing of government security clearances has already been outsourced to a private operator, not sure whether that is for just baseline clearances or whether the private contractor does the high level stuff as well.

    Also, this is the same Abul Rizvi that developed and implemented the transition from people needing permanent residence before moving to Australia to the “suck and see” approach that is dominant now. It used to be that to get a visa to come to Australia people had to pass their medical and security checks and meet fairly strigent requirements upfront. Nowadays in theory all that checking is done once they’ve come to Australia on easily obtained temporary visas but in practice once they’re in they get to stay. Abul should have good ideas on how to fix the current system as he played a large part in stuffing it up in the first place.

  2. Has anyone read this?:
    I was totally underwhelmed when reading this, straight out of the script for Utopia!

    • It contained a vision for overseas graduates with regional bribes to keep overseas students here.
    • All that new development is just chasing our tail
    • There were no solutions, just more of the same
    • The brochure was full of happy, carefully choreographed, multicultural pictures as if population growth does not happen amongst white folks
    • Very disappointing.

  3. the amount the department makes on average per visa application has increased from £28.73 to £122.56.

    During that time, the Home Office has made £1.6bn from applicants looking to visit, study or be reunited with their families – a nine-fold increase on the five years prior to the start of the contract.

    Seems like a good thing if the department of Home Affairs will get £3.2 billion per decade instead of the current £0.35 billion per decade from “skilled” immigrants.

    The fake left should charge $250k for each citizenship conversion but it refuses to – so let the private contractor up the fees and slow immigration that way.

    VFS, which is contracted to process visas from all countries outside Europe and Africa, handles applications to work, study and live in the UK, as well as visit.

    So we can carve out NZ and Britain from VFS – nations that have roughly the same wages as AUS.

    • Mate, you’re a goose, the fake left has not been in government for yonks. The system we have now is totally owned by the fake right.

      • Why did Kristina Keneally recently rant against the whopping 410 days it takes to convert a third world passport into an Aussie one?

        It should be 4000 days.

        Is there any indication that the fake left will cut immigration if it wins the next federal election?

        Mehreen Faruqi recently said that “skilled” immigrants should be allowed to get welfare as soon as they land here. She is the goose.

        • Kristina Keneally has about as much influence on current government policy as you do. None. Also you seem to be confusing immigration with citizenship: the end result of the immigration process is permanent residency, not citizenship.

          In reality the function of immigration is actually not a left wing / right wing thing. The two most competent immigration ministers in the last thirty years or so were Gerry Hand, from the far left of the ALP, and Phillip Ruddock, from the small “l” liberal portion of the Liberal Party. Both were totally ontop of their brief, worked unbelievably hard and had the guts and principles to make the toughest of tough decisions to maintain the integrity of our borders. Most of what you post on this topic is marvel comic book stuff.

          • Dan Andrews can cut immigration but he refuses to.

            As I said, is there any indication that the fake left will not increase the immigration rate if it wins the next federal election?

            Kristina Keneally is going into bat for foreigners who are working here for illegal wages!

            integrity of our borders? What about the integrity of our universities? Is there any indication that the fake left is against foreign “students” who come here to cheat in exams and bribe professors?