Visa scammers target Tasmania for permament residency

The Morrison Government is hailing the success of its regional visa scheme after new figures reveal that the number of ‘skilled’ migrants landing in Tasmania has more than doubled:

Figures to be released today by Immigration Minister David Coleman show 609 people came to Tasmania between July and September under the regional sponsored migration and skilled visas scheme.

This compares with 240 people in the same quarter the previous year and is higher than the number of migrants going to regional Victoria (595) and Western Australia (536) from July to September…

“Regional migration is a key pillar of our Population Plan which is working to ease the pressure on the big capitals while supporting the growth of those regions that want more people,” Mr Coleman said.

“Already we’re seeing results, with a 124 per cent increase in regional visas being granted in the first three months of the program year.”

The number of migrants settling in Tasmania is a drop in the bucket when compared against the overall intake. As shown in the below charts constructed using ABS data, 85% of migrants settled in Australia’s capital cities in 2017-18, with 65% of total migrants settling in Sydney and Melbourne:

Moreover, while a handful more migrants are heading to Tasmania, there is nothing in place to actually keep them there long-term.

State-based migration schemes have been systematically gamed, with migrants temporarily settling in places like Tasmania and Canberra to gain bonus points towards permanent residency before moving to either Sydney or Melbourne, as noted by SBS News last year:

During recent months and years, a large number of prospective permanent residents – particularly international students from the Indian subcontinent – moved to Tasmania and the ACT for a relatively easier pathway to permanent residency…

State and territory governments in Australia run their own immigration program and can nominate visa applicants to fill the skill gaps and meet labour demands. Such a nomination carries additional points for immigration…

Many visa seekers, including international students, began heading to the ACT and Tasmania…

Applicants and migration agents are further concerned about the government’s decision to increase the minimum score on the general points test to 65 from previous 60 for applying for skilled visas.

“It’s a heartbreak for many applicants who thought 60 points is enough for their bid to PR [Permanent Residency],” said Rohit Mohan of Lakshya Migration.

ANU research of settlement patterns also shows that 60% of migrants that moved to Australia’s regions subsequently settled in capital cities within five years after they gained permanent residency:

ANU material went as far as saying new migrants were “fleeing” regional Australia for better opportunities in the cities…

ANU demographer Bernard Baffour told SBS News, “you can move migrants to areas, but you can’t force them to stay there”…

The study found Chinese-born migrants are more likely to settle in Sydney… Elsewhere, Melbourne is the city of choice for most Indian-born migrants.

Thus, the Morrison Government’s regional visa program is likely to lead to exactly the same outcomes of those before it.

Migrants will temporarily move to the regions that offer bonus points towards permanent residency. And then, once permanent residency has been gained, they will move to the major crush-loaded capital cities.

Rather than selling voters a decentralisation smoke screen, the Morrison Government needs to halve Australia’s immigration intake back to something that resembles the historical average:

Unconventional Economist
Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)


  1. anyone else in regional areas noticing just how many indians are around now

    i swear its getting just like the city, every security guard/trolley pusher/gas station is wall to wall subcons

    like wtf its unrecognisable from 10 yrs ago

    • Probably a good thing, stag. All the ‘locals’ just want to get on with their trades, engineering and medical careers and not have to worry about the menial stuff. Everyone’s a winner 😉

      • Old women used to work in petrol stations for $20/hour. Now they have been pushed out by immigrants on $10/hour. The old women went from being taxpayers to dole recipients. What a disaster.

        Foreigners are allowed to take any job – not just petrol station jobs – and that is why wages have been shrinking across the board for the last 11 years.

        • So true. The whole cleaning industry is like this. Cleaners used to get paid some sort of minimum wage for doing these awful jobs but contractors now come in and tender for less than they can actualy do the job for and then hire ‘students’ or other borderline immigrants to do the job for $10 per hour. My family was affected by this and that was more than 5 years ago. Goverment cares little with just the odd showcase conviction to keep the voters on side.

    • It’s been this way in Melbourne for several years now. Shame that it’s spread to the regions, as these supermarket jobs used to be great for local kids to be introduced to work and earn some cash.

      • Low/no skill labour imports will to work for next to nothing. Will add nothing to the future of the country and as you point out it removes opportunities for the locals. It will be a disaster. The majority of these people work in the FIRE and service sector the economy. Not sure what they will do when the economy tanks.

      • Local butcher used to have school kids working on a Saturday. As time passes you get to know them and ask them questions about HSC or Uni etc. Now, I’m not sure what to ask the vibrants they’ve been replaced with. I feel that questions relating to visas, PR or wage theft might be a bit too far and could make the owner blush.

        • Ronin8317MEMBER

          Ask them about real estate investments. Very good chance they bought a piece of land off the plan hoping to flip it for profit.

  2. 124% of nix is still nix. In a democracy, one relies on political parties, the press, and academics, to call out these puerile deceptions. If all of these “independent” scrutineers are totally invested in Big Australia, you’ve got a problem.

  3. Population overload in the regions might prove worse than the cities over time given the lack of investment in infrastructure and support services.

  4. Instead of giving foreigners extra points for pretending to live in a rural area, they should be taxed for living in a megaslum.

    Charge them $40 per day for a train ticket.

  5. thefatgeneralMEMBER

    As a local in Hobart I can attest to this – a noticeable uptick in recent years. That said, we’re currently experiencing a severe shortage of accommodation (mostly council related-they don’t approve hotel developments so a lot of rental stock is going to the airBNB market), so this adds extra demand and makes an existing issue worse. Many parts of Tasmania (& areas close to Hobart, such as the Huon valley) also have very high unemployment rates – so it’s a struggle to generate employment. Anecdata point – when I first moved to Hobart (2006) one of the unique things was that every taxi driver was a local (often older/semi-retired man) who would know every street/how to get around. Lately every uber (& most taxis-though I don’t use them as often anymore) is from the subcontinent.

  6. ‘… the Morrison Government needs to halve Australia’s immigration intake back to something that resembles the historical average:’

    That would bring the net immigration program to around 125,000 a year. Too little too late, the massive Third World immigration program has been going for far too long now . It began with Whitlam in 1972 and continued with every government since, accelerating ruinously from a mainly Third World immigration program to a massive Third World immigration program over the past twenty years.
    There needs to be a suspension of the total immigration program for at least five years. Then at a future time immigration can be sensibly returned with an overwhelmingly European intake of around 40,000 a year, a net zero population growth figure.
    Australia is a European country, the relentless change to an Asian country must be stopped!

    • Too late. The ‘vibrants’ and ‘subcons’ are here and they’re tougher than you. They can survive and breed in crush-loaded capital cities… clearly you can’t. And you keep voting in the people that are selling you out 😀

      Can’t fight Darwinism 🙂

  7. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Tasmania needs an injection of vibrant blood to stabilise the defects from internal family relations

    • Because surely all those subcontinental Adonises are perfect pictures of health, conformation and intelligence.

  8. We have imported an entire subcontinental underclass. Sometimes I feel like saying to them, almost apologetically, none of us ever asked for you to come here (and be this underclass). But the crime now, looking at the ratio of arrivals v departures Leith sometimes posts, is the influential people callously just running churn for the purpose of fleecing immigrants. As the economy taps out, the beneficiaries of migrants continue to spruik the sunshine good life knowing full well many immigrants will pay the exorbitant fees, pay Qantas and pay the rent but will return home because they just can’t make a living despite all desperate measures. But hey we are a unracist totally welcoming country with only your best interests at heart.