Australia Extends Visa Of 10,000 Hong Kong Citizens; Suspends Extradition Pact

  • Australia Extends Visa Of 10,000 Hong Kong Citizens; Suspends Extradition Pact

Australia Extends Visa Of 10,000 Hong Kong Citizens; Suspends Extradition Pact

"And we will also provide a five-year visa with a pathway to permanent residency for future Hong Kong applicants for temporary skilled visas, subject to meeting an updated skills list and appropriate marking".

Morrison also announced a pathway to permanent residency in Australia for Hong Kong citizens looking to leave the city due to the imposition of the law.

"If you're a temporary visa holder, your visa will be extended to an additional five years from today, in addition to the time you've already been in Australia, with a pathway to permanent residency at the end of that period", he said.

"We will make decisions about what's in our interests, and we will make decisions about our laws and our advisories, and we will do that rationally and soberly and consistently", Mr Morrison said.

Australia has also suspended an extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

"China's decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for global engagement there", Foreign Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said in a statement.

Mr Morrison said the government would also try to attract Hong Kong-based businesses to Australia to create more jobs.

He said the decisions were taken because the security law "constitutes a fundamental change of circumstances", adding that Beijing and Hong Kong authorities had been notified of the plans.

China has reacted angrily to moves by the worldwide community to aid Hong Kongers, as well as widespread criticism of the security law, which it views as necessary to stop "terrorism" and "foreign interference" in the city.

Around 10,000 Hong Kongers are now in Australia, Morrison said, adding that he doesn't expect large numbers of applications for new visas in the short term.

"China urges Australia to immediately change course and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs in any way to avoid further damage to Sino-Australian ties", he said. You could break the law without intending to. Foreign Minister Winston Peters said New Zealand was "deeply concerned" about the national security law.

Previously, Australia and Hong Kong could both seek the extradition of anyone within their jurisdiction who was wanted for prosecution or a criminal sentence.

The law is the most radical change in Hong Kong's freedoms and autonomy since Britain handed the city back to China in 1997.

However the United Kingdom, along with other Western nations say China's new law directly threatens those freedoms and rights.

Last week, the United Kingdom offered resettlement to up three million Hong Kong residents - an action criticised by China.

Australia's announcement could again aggravate tensions with China, its biggest trading partner.

The move was seen as a retaliation for Australia's push for an inquiry into the origins of COVID-19. This has been viewed as the catalyst for China levelling sanctions on Australian exports.