Australia cuts permanent migration visas

Australia on Wednesday cut its annual intake of immigrants by nearly 15%, and barred some new arrivals from living in its largest cities for three years, news wires reported. PM Scott Morrison (pictured) said the annual immigration intake would be cut to 160,000 people, with effect from 1 July, versus 190,000 before. New arrivals could gain permanent residency after living outside of Australia's largest cities for three years, he added.

Authorities will require proof of residential and work addresses in future applications for permanent residency, as a way of enforcing the requirement.

There will be no cap on temporary migration, such as students on temporary visas, who form the bulk of migrants to Australia, which issued 378,292 student visas in the year to 30 June 2018.

The policy change comes at a time of national reflection over Australia's attitude towards migrants after the shooting of at least 50 people in New Zealand's city of Christchurch on 15 March. Australian Brenton Tarrant was charged with murder after he opened fire at the two mosques during Friday prayers.

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