News of the legislation.
The Australian government is reviewing the criteria for the immigration of disabled people.
Human rights defenders specializing in the enforcement of the rights of persons with disabilities noted with satisfaction the efforts of the Australian Government to reduce the requirements that need to be met by people with disabilities who want to live and work in Australia. According to experts, strict restrictions on the availability of immigrant visas for this category of foreign citizens do not always correspond to the humanistic norms adopted in a civilized society.
Currently, many potential immigrants or members of their families can not avail themselves of Australia’s immigration programs because their health does not meet the strict medical requirements for visa applicants. This situation is explained by the government’s reluctance to impose on the health care system of the country a heavy burden of financial expenditures on maintaining the health of people with disabilities.
Currently, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is developing criteria for assessing the possible pros and cons of immigrating to Australia candidates with health problems, aiming to determine what benefit a particular immigrant can bring to the country economically and socially. It is planned that the approach of determining the “net profit” from the accession of foreign disabled citizens to Australian society, said Minister of Immigration Chris Bowen in his recent speech.
From July 1, 2013, the government plans to significantly increase the threshold, above which the costs of maintaining an acceptable level of health for the immigrant are greater than those of the Australian health system. The current limit of allowable costs – $ 21,000 – will be increased to $ 35,000.
Only the policy of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship remains unchanged, as regards the protection of public health, the provision of which is one of the priorities of the government. The application of a strict medical examination procedure will continue, and immigration to Australia will be denied to foreign citizens who pose a significant risk to public health. In other issues, Bowen’s ministry is going to continue to listen to the authoritative opinion of experts on the rights of disabled people and to make adjustments to immigration legislation, if necessary.
The need for the Department’s adoption of this decision is long overdue. The International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Australia, says that people with disabilities have the right to live anywhere in accordance with their personal choices, and disability should not prevent it.
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