Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On foreign property investors.

Anyone who've applied or are currently applying for permanent residency in Australia can attest to this: it is not easy. If you agree, then you will not object my next point that the department of immigration has actually put a lot of thought into establishing the system. From the health check to skill assessment to police check, it's a pain in the ass. If any of you have had the experience of visiting the department of immigration, you'd know when I say the process and treatment given to applicants are sometimes degrading to some extent.

But I get it, when a system is set up, there's bound to be abuse to the system. Not sheltering the fact the applicants are here to share the fruit of culture and living standards of Australia. The fire hoops we had to jump through are understandable. But how high? Well, for any foreigner who wants to enter the country by being, let's say a hairdresser, it will cost at least 80 thousand dollars and 3 years. (An international student applying as a doctor will have to fork out 400 thousand dollars and 7 years of his/her life.)

A month ago I was watching this report about foreigners (mainly yellow) being the main cause of the insane property boom. Interest raise or tighter loan pre-requisite is useless because they are buying the houses in cash. So Australians suffer to get their first home and foreigners keep laughing their heads off with cold hard cash.

So my question is: If so much thought was put into establishing a system to filter migrants into Australia, why isn't the same being done for foreign property investors? If an international student needs to prove their intention to stay and produce for Australian society, why not Mr.Chan from Shanghai?

I think all foreign investors should at least pass the IELTS test. To show that they can at least speak English and not buying a property to launder dirty cash. I don't think it's too much to ask. In fact, the Australian government should see this as an opportunity to make more money. Make them go through all the process, applications and point tests just like applying for migration. I know business is business, and I'm not saying don't let them buy it, just make them bend over more.

Because, I cannot see the logic behind a medical student having spent half a million dollars and still have to work hard to get a home loan; while a money laundering tycoon from Taiwan can buy her way into being a citizen by being illiterate and ignorant about Australia.