Online travel visas drive boom in bogus asylum seekers

Labor’s immigration spokesperson, Kristina Keneally, has once again taken aim at the blow-out in migrants arriving on online tourist visas whom are subsequently attempting to claim asylum:

In a speech to the Law Council of Australia’s immigration law conference on Friday, Keneally will release new figures showing that since the government allowed the online lodgement of tourist visas for Chinese nationals, there has been an almost 700% increase in the number of people arriving by air from China and claiming asylum.

In the 12 months after online lodgement was introduced, from March 2017 to February 2018, 7,304 Chinese nationals on tourist visas made claims for asylum compared to just 1,060 in the 12 months prior.

From February 2017 to September 2019, the total number of Chinese nationals to have claimed asylum is 13,462.

Keneally said the surge was contributing to the system being overloaded by often spurious claims, with about 90% of the 100,000 airplane arrivals who have claimed asylum in the past five years found to be unmeritorious.

“This is not an issue of a person’s nationality – it is about the integrity of our migration system – and an insight into how backlogs have grown so quickly,” according to a draft copy of Keneally’s speech…

Keneally also warned that with an increased number of people on bridging visas, the backlog leads to a growing “honeypot” for people smugglers who facilitate travel to Australia for the specific purpose of having an extended stay in our country, often to access the labour market…

“Plain and simple – this is a work scam.”

The “gaming” of Australia’s visa system is perhaps best illustrated by the blowout in temporary bridging visas, which are typically given to migrants awaiting decisions on applications for permanent residency, and are considered a broad indicator of the robustness and efficiency of the visa system.

As shown in the next chart, the number of bridging visas on issue have more than doubled under the Coalition’s term in government, to 230,000 as at September 2019:

This boom in dodgy asylum seeker claims has caused a massive backlog at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT):

As noted by former High Court justice, Ian Callinan:

[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”…

Meanwhile, this fake refugee influx is costing Australian taxpayers dearly, given each migrant and refugee case reviewed by the AAT costs between $2137 and $3036 to review.

The reality is that an entire industry exists to game Australia’s immigration system.

When visa holders do not want to go home they contact the immigration industry and this sets in motion the never ending AAT process, thereby allowing visitors to extend their stays in Australia and enabling them to work.

This gaming is obviously being aided and abetted by online travel visas, which give automated access to Australia and are behind the explosion of bogus asylum seeker claims from Malaysia and China:

A large number of Malaysians and Chinese are travelling to Australia on online tourist visas for the express purpose of gaining permanent residency or to work, knowing that as soon as they land by plane they can apply for asylum and gain a bridging visa.

It is time to shut the rort pathway down by abolishing online visas for these nations alongside tightening the AAT process via shutting down avenues of appeal to foreigners that have been refused a visa.

Unconventional Economist


  1. Fishing72MEMBER

    Even worse when you know that they’re now playing volleyball and watching ping pong shows for two weeks in Thailand before they get here and play victim.

  2. But when is Kristina Keneally going to be looking at IDP – that private company owned by Australian universities that is spruiked by The Australian? It is:

    “…an international education organisation offering student placement in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, UK, Ireland and Canada. IDP has more than 100 offices in 31 countries and 550 counsellors”.

    An “educational organisation” or a way to market education as a commodity?

    IDP is a listed company up to its neck in the English testing scam and presently seems hell bent on assisting overseas students circumvent travel bans by organising holidays in nations outside of China before onward travel to Australia.

    This is a private company set up by university VCs that are already paid public money. It raises several questions about the independence of university public officers and immigration arrangements.

    Making immigration “efficient” as a way to create new markets may well be profitable, but does so by leveraging profit against the integrity, safety and interests of the Australian people.

    Is immigration policy to be independent or in the pockets of those who benefit financially who are in effect selling Australian citizenship out from under us?

  3. As KK well knows, this seeming “chaos” is all part of the Treasury plan, for net migration of 270K, if we can still get there. Not even the pandemic can wean KK (or indeed Treasury) away from this plan.

    • But it’s Treasury, and not the States, that pick up the legal costs.

      Does it really work to cook the books with such a cost?

      I think it’s poor management, and virtue signalling tthat they are helping, supposedly, the world’s down-trodden.

    • “Not even the pandemic can wean KK (or indeed Treasury) away from this plan.”

      Hmmm – aren’t you confusing your KK’s and the Coalition here?? I don’t think she is taking the credit/blame for this dodgy dealing in any shape or form … that all fairly goes to this sly, two-faced, LNP Government. c’mon – be fair!!

  4. Make it a condition of entry on a travel visa – asylum will not be considered.

    Asylum can be sought from a secondary country.

    We will still be meeting our obligations but managing the risk.

    • Well it does seem obvious. Almost too obvious to make that a condition. If they do this the LNP will have to embark on work choices 2.0 to replace the cheap labour lost to the gravy train being shutdown.
      We are owned and run by colonial powers, they want cheap labour to fuel the banks and franchisers.

  5. It is time to shut the rort pathway down by abolishing online visas for these nations alongside tightening the AAT process via shutting down avenues of appeal to foreigners that have been refused a visa.

    might as well demand they all wear an armband with inscription “黄屎” and keep them in ghettos.

    The system is created with a hidden agenda in mind and it is working as desired. The loopholes are there to support that, the hidden agenda.
    20 years ago, PR pathways were clean, transparent and hard to reach. It took up to 20 months to approve PR and only thise with max score went trough. There were no loopholes.
    Chinese did not change that, they just noticed the creation and obvious invitation to explore novel avenues. Your blame should be addressed at Canberra regime, not at the few 1000 of people that seek better life and are smart enough to recognise less obvious but deliberaltely developed payhways.

  6. It all comes down to the unholy alliance between the progressives and the globalists.
    The country needs a Great Orator to enlighten the people to the ruination these imposed evil ideologies are having to the Australia people.

    • To challenge GDP growth
      To challenge the fetishism for high property prices
      To challenge fake export industries
      To challenge multiculturalism
      Not to make Australia again, but to simply make things again

  7. nexus789MEMBER

    The virus will tank the economy and it will be interesting to see what happens to all the temp visa holders if they don’t have an income. As I understand they cant apply for benefits unless they are a citizen/permanent resident..