Is Australia Set to See an Influx of Migrants From Hong Kong?

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Is Australia Set to See an Influx of Migrants From Hong Kong?

Is Australia Set to See an Influx of Migrants From Hong Kong?

There are many reasons why people choose to migrate to Australia. Among them is the uncertainty of major political changes in their own country.

Take for instance the current situation in Hong Kong. Over the last couple of weeks, protests have taken place in reaction to the proposed changes to the extradition law. While the riots in themselves pose a danger to the citizens of Hong Kong, there is also the potential ramifications of this policy being passed.

The proposed legislation would allow extradition to any jurisdiction that it doesn’t currently have an extradition agreement with. This would include Taiwan, Macau and mainland China. In the past, these areas have been excluded due to concerns over their judicial independence and their human rights record.

While it’s a part of China, Hong Kong holds a high level of autonomy. After the British handover of Hong Kong back to China in 1997, it was agreed that Hong Kong would retain some of its democratic institutions including its judicial system and independence for 50 years after the handover, which would be 2047.

Citizens of Hong Kong now fear if this extradition policy is put in place it could affect the way of life in Hong Kong. The introduction of this law could see negative impacts on freedom of speech, freedom of the press, privacy and inequality. An unfair judicial system is one of the greater concerns for the people of Hong Kong.

How Do the Issues in Hong Kong Affect Migration in Australia?

This unrest in Hong Kong could see an influx of Hong Kong immigrants in Australia. It’s not unreasonable to assume that the people of Hong Kong who are used to a freer way of life would want to flee should this extradition law be passed and their fears become a reality.

In 2018, 7,341, 910 (29%) of Australia’s population were born overseas. Of this number 100,620 people were born in Hong Kong. It stands to reason that with the potential political unrest in Hong Kong, this number could increase significantly.

While skilled migration would seem like an obvious option for those wishing to leave Hong Kong, the question remains, will they qualify? Things like age, English competency levels and skill factors come into play where skilled migration is concerned. At the moment the median age in Hong Kong is 43.5 years and while English is an official language of Hong Kong, only 4.3% of the Hong Kong population can speak it. So, time will tell how many Hong Kongese will qualify.

If you need expert advice on migration, speak to one of the VSA team today. It is a complex subject so it is important to speak with someone in the know.

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