Last month Immigration Minister Scott Morrison publicly recognised and thanked the efforts of the Sri Lankan Government for working with Australian agencies to combat the transnational crime of people smuggling to Australian shores.
“The Sri Lankan authorities are committed to combating people-smuggling and continue to disrupt people-smuggling ventures all over the island.” Mr Morrison further praised Sri Lanka’s assistance “We are very grateful for the enormous efforts of the Sri Lanka Navy, the Sri Lanka Police Force and other law enforcement and prosecuting agencies.”
With the Australian and Sri Lankan authorities working closely together, there has been a decrease in the arrival of illegal boats and immigrants which has in turn enabled the Australian Government to increase the number of humanitarian migration places from 500 per year to 4000 per year. These humanitarian visas will be available for people in refugee camps from all around the world and will allow them to immigrate to Australia under the humanitarian program
The appeal of calling Australia ‘Home’ for Sri Lankans certainly appears to be on the increase as well with a 74% increase last year of the number of Sri Lankans who became Australian citizens. This number combined with the 4987 Sri Lankans who immigrated to Australia legally with family visas and those with work visas for Australia, shows that there is opportunity to arrive and live in Australia through the proper immigration channels.
“The suggestion that the only way you could get to Australia is on a leaky boat is not true,’’ Mr Morrison stated at a recent Sri-Lanka-Australia security conference. “If people have a legitimate reason for coming then they can.’’
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