Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner says Sydney is open for business.
21 March 2012
Australian visa process simplified for Sydney bound investors
New South Wales intends to simplify some of its Australian visa processes in an attempt to attract more foreign investors as well as skilled migrants to the region.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner said the NSW government would simplify requirements for sponsorship in the 165 Australian visa class for foreign business people wanting to invest in the region.
Mr Stoner also said he would be discussing the possibility of adding a new class of investor visa to provide more options to potential international business and make NSW an even more attractive prospect.
"Investor migration is an increasingly important area of focus for NSW but has only been used to attract relatively few migrants to the state in the past," said Mr Stoner.
"Business migrants, in particular, bring with them experience, international connections, entrepreneurial skills and capital to establish new businesses."
Mr Stoner said NSW wanted to make it easier for international company owners to keep their businesses in Australia by extending the residency terms from four years to eight.
Not solely concerned with commerce and wealthy investors, Mr Stoner said the NSW government would be asking the federal government to relax the rules dictating temporary residency in the state as well as working to streamline visa processing and extend post-study work requirements for international students.
The Deputy Premier also said NSW would be lobbying the federal government for a greater proportion of state government sponsored visas in order to encourage more people to move to Australia. NSW received 2,640 visas this year, an 11% share which Mr Stoner would like to see increase to as much as 30% or 7,200 visas.
"To boost economic activity in SNW, we would like the state's allocation of state and territory sponsored skilled migrants increased to around 30% in line with our share of the economy and population," said Mr Stoner.
"NSW is already the preferred Australian destination for the majority of long stay business migrants, skilled migrants and international students but there's more we must do to realise the full economic and cultural benefits."
Mr Stoner said despite his and Premier Barry O'Farrell's political differences with the federal government, NSW was keen to work with the Australian immigration authorities to achieve their goals.
"We are keen to work co-operatively with the federal government, particularly Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, to improve the current arrangements."
Immigration is currently a controversial topic in Australia but Mr Stoner's statements have so far been welcomed. Chief executive of the NSW Business Chamber, Stephen Cartwright said he supported the proposals:
"NSW needs to become more active in making clear that the state welcomes skilled migrants, investor migrants and visitors undertaking international education."
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge their Australia visa applications with the Australian Embassy London.