Labor: Chinese rorting Australia’s online tourism visas

Labor’s immigration spokesperson, Kristina Keneally, has once again attacked the blatant rorting of Australia’s immigration system by Chinese using online tourism visas to arrive in Australia by plane before applying for asylum:

Labor’s spokesperson for immigration says a change to the tourist visa application process has led to an almost 700 per cent spike in asylum applications from Chinese nationals arriving in Australia by aeroplane.

Speaking at the Law Council of Australia’s immigration law conference on Friday, Kristina Keneally said the number of Chinese nationals on tourist visas claiming asylum in Australia jumped to 7,304 in the year after the government allowed applications for the visa to be lodged online.

In the 12 months before the policy change in March 2017 only 1,060 Chinese nationals on tourist visas lodged visa asylum applications, she said…

More broadly, over the past five years, Senator Kenneally said more than 100,000 people who had arrived in the country by aeroplane had claimed asylum, with 90 per cent of them found to be illegitimate.

According to figures released in October last year, close to 80 people per day requested asylum after landing in an Australian airport.

Little wonder then that the number of migrants sitting on bridging visas has exploded, more than doubling to nearly 230,000 towards the end of 2019:

These bridging visas are usually granted to migrants awaiting decisions on applications for residency, and are viewed as a broad indicator of the efficiency and robustness of Australia’s visa system.

The boom in bogus asylum seeker claims is also a key reason why Australia’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) has become overloaded and has a gigantic backlog:

Each migration case at the AAT reportedly costs taxpayers between $2137 and $3036 to review. Thus, the blowout is bogus asylum seeker claims is costing Australians dearly.

As admitted by former high court justice, Ian Callinan, the rorting of Australia’s visa system is well known within the immigration industry:

[Ian Callinan] said “almost everyone” with migration law experience had told him there were applic­ants and representatives who “game the system, well knowing there is an automatic entitlement to a bridging visa”…

Basically, those seeking to rort the system for personal gain can simply contact the immigration industry to set in motion the never ending AAT process. This then allows “temporary” visitors to extend their stays in Australia for work and the possibility of gaining permanent residency.

The obvious solution is to axe online travel visas for at-risk nations like China and Malaysia, which are the key drivers of bogus asylum seeker claims:

The federal government should also tighten the AAT process in order to close avenues of appeal to internationals refused a work or residency visa.

Leith van Onselen
Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


  1. And where was this rhetoric during the election Kristina? Oh No, we had MOAR elderly parent visas and MOAR refugee (protection) visas. We all know Labor’s game on immigration especially with China.

    The fact you can arrive on a tourist visa and then apply for literally nearly any other visa subclass is the core problem. That and allowing “students” to renew their visas and change courses onshore ad infinitum.

    • Love in the time of Corona

      I think their post election polling has shown where they went wrong. Seems KK has been given permission to tackle this, gradually testi g the water, and Brendan O’Connor has made comments as well.

    • +1, Kriss. Until this champion hypocrite and ace virtue-signaller calls for an immediate and permanent two-thirds cut to the still-current Treasury net migration target of 270K, she should just zip it.

  2. Savvy Aussie Mum’s n Dad’s have this one ingeneous hack to solve the problem overnight!

  3. It’s nice we are starting to use the word chi n a now for certain issues, without being raci st.

  4. Philip Soos:

    “As MacroBusiness diligently records, every poll and survey demonstrates a growing majority of the public are against our extremist immigration policy. The irony is that no group has done more to poison the well against immigrants than the left-wing woke fanatics.

    The reason why the woke fanatics don’t recognise this is because they have isolated themselves from reality in their ‘progressive’ university-educated bubble, only babbling to each other on social media. They really have no idea just how unpopular their own views are.

    But because this tiny minority of woke fanatics occupy large segments of the mass media and other places of intellectual opinion, their views are cast far and wide, generating the illusion of majority and conformity where none exist. This is a big problem.

    I’ve always been in favour of moderate immigration, as long as it respects the limits of the environment, housing and labour markets. This has not been the case since the mid-2000s when Howard opened the immigration floodgates.

    Anyone who advocates sensible, sustainable immigration policy has long been shouted down as racist deplorables. Due to the boundless stupidity of woke fanatics, it is simply impossible to have any sort of advocacy of moderate immigration in the mainstream.”

  5. Stewie GriffinMEMBER

    There’s one easy solution to this problem – declare a national state of emergency and suspend the AAT.

    Round up all appellants and using QANTAS’s idle fleet of planes, charter them and fly them ALL back to wherever they came from.

    Problem solved – and done so for a lot cheaper than $2k or $3k per claimant.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Suspending the AAT means they get to stay here forever. What is needed is stopping the automatic granting of protection visa to anyone who applies.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        If they are appealing to the AAT then that means that the Govt or such has already found their removal from Australia to be valid under some administrative rule, causing the appellant to appeal the finding to the AAT.

        Abolishing the AAT or suspending it under a state of emergency powers simply means that Govt can ignore the AAT appeal and carry out or execute the original removal orders.

        Basically we’d get back the sovereignty we surrendered to the UN when Gough Whitlam rolled over to have his tummy tickled by the likes of Walter Whitman lobby group in 1975.

  6. Peachy Bagholder

    yeah well, it’s all over now, virus fixed ting. 90%?!?!? it’s already a rort @ 20%!!!

  7. I really have wondered what happens to all the people on tourist visas that used to get a job when they shouldnt be working. These people now cannot ask for centrelink assistance nor go to medicare for a hospital bed and cannot be out to work. Rock, meet hard place.

    • Now that’s an interesting idea. Only Australian citizens can receive welfare. Nah, it won’t work here. There is just too many people around the world we need to help by letting them move here.

  8. ChinajimMEMBER

    We should welcome Chinese asylum seekers. On the condition that they organise as a group and work actively to counter the propaganda put out by the regime they are fleeing from, and resolutely lobby and fight for its overthrow.

    • You mean pledge some sort of allegiance to Australia and agree never to do anything against it? We should write that down and make people agree to it when they want citizenship. Actually, on second thoughts, it’s a bit racist.

      • ChinajimMEMBER

        No I don’t mean that. I mean much more than that.

        Key phrases: “work actively” and “resolutely lobby and fight”. Much more than just a pledge.