On 18 September 2013, The Hon. Scott Morrison was formally sworn in as the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection of Australia.
It is expected that the new Minister will continue the hardline approach of the newly elected Liberal/National Coalition on the issue of asylum seekers arriving by boat. Operation Sovereign Borders is a new directive, also formally introduced on 18 September 2013, which will see military-led action to intercept boats carrying asylum seekers. All government agencies involved in border protection will come under the command of a single three-star military commander reporting directly to Minister Morrison.
Further, the new government has announced that Permanent Protection Visas will immediately be ceased, and that there will be a return to Temporary Protection Visas for people who arrive unauthorized by boat and are successful in making a refugee application.
The newly elected government of Australia has remained mostly silent on other aspects of the migration program. Only time will tell whether they will take a more generous approach to temporary work sponsored visas, the rules for which were tightened under recent changes.
For now, people who are interested in migrating to Australia should continue to work towards that dream and take advantage of the current migration program which has a planning level of 190,000 places for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
If you are interested in Australian visas, please contact Immigration Services Australia (ISA) for information and advice on which visa is most suitable to you. You can also try its visa eligibility assessment to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to Australia.