No Special Visas to Greek Migrants to Australia

The United Macedonian Diaspora Australia (UMD Australia) has been a long-time advocate of non-preferential treatment to ethnic groups over another, seeking equality for all Australians including the Australian-Macedonian community. As such, UMD Australia, upon learning that there have been calls from the Greek Diaspora to allow preferential treatment to Greek citizens applying for working visas to Australia, reacted in a letter to Australian Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Mr. Chris Bowen inquiring about the matter.

In response to letter from UMD Australia Director Ordan Andreevski, Mr. Bowen’s office noted “the Australian Government has a non-discriminatory policy under its Migration Act which does not favour any country above another…no special arrangement is in place for visa applicants from Greece or any other country.”

Earlier this year, the Australian media reported that there have been calls from within the Greek community in Australia for the Australian Government to introduce special working visas for Greeks needing to escape the economic slump in their country.

In response to this request, in March 2012, UMD Australia wrote to the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship arguing that such regulation would be discriminatory towards all other communities who live in Australia. In addition, Andreevski published an opinion piece “Merit, not positive discrimination for granting Australian working visas” in ON LINE opinion, Australia’s e-journal of social and political debate.

“The proposal for special treatment of Greek nationals, does not make sense for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, nor for Australian employers and trade unions. It also not ethical or acceptable to Australia’s multicultural society which has extensive links with not just countries that are experiencing significant financial problems across Europe such as Italy, Spain, Ireland, Britain, Macedonia; the Middle East including Israel, and with developing countries in Africa and in our Asia-Pacific neighborhood. Many countries no doubt have far greater problems than Greece,” said Andreevski.

Click HERE to read the opinion piece for more details.

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