Australian Prime Minister eases visa regulations to attract Hong Kong citizens

Threcent announcement has led to an uptick in private property purchases 

Colourful sunset over Gold Coast, Australia. DAEPhoto/Shutterstock

Due to the national security law passed in Hong Kong late last month, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison decided to ease the visa regulations for Hong Kong citizens who reside in Australia, and are interested to either extend their stay for half a decade or apply for a permanent residency, reported

Luxury real estate brokerage firm Black Diamondz Property Concierge, which typically has an annual turnover of USD200 million and a Hong Kong client base of 20 percent, saw an uptick of 35 percent in inquiries from Hong Kongers since November 2019 and a 45 percent increase since the prime minister’s announcement.

Analysts expect the property purchase volumes to grow in the coming six to 12 months.

A migration services company also revealed that the queries regarding Australia’s temporary visa doubled after the announcement, particularly from young families aged between 24 and 44 who work in education, engineering and IT, aside from business owners and investors aged between 35 and 60.

More: Navigating the property industry amidst growing tensions between China and Hong Kong/Australia

“Australia is an attractive destination for many Hongkongers as it offers world-class education, political and economic stability. They will bring along their business skills, invest in new business, create job opportunities for Australians, and provide a richness in history and cultural diversity,” said migration agent Mei Hoong Lai.

Abul Rizvi, Former department of immigration deputy secretary, added: “There’s a long, long history of success for Hong Kong migrants in Australia. Hong Kong migrants who came around the time of the handover went on to become very successful migrants on connecting Australia back to Hong Kong.”

He believes that Hong Kongers would be highly compatible in the country because of similar backgrounds in democracy, business system, legal system and the English language. However, he advised the Australian government to make haste as the country is not the only one wooing the citizens.

“The opportunities are there, but I think the Australian Government and the state governments need to move now. There’ll be many countries who want to attract Hong Kong business migrants right now. If Australia waits until COVID-19 has passed, I think it will miss the opportunity,” concluded Abul.