On Thursday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced steps to help residents of Hong Kong begin a new life in Australia, including extending visas by five years after Beijing placed a new security law on the Asian financial center. Morrison had already revoked a Hong Kong extradition deal. Under the security law, suspects from Hong Kong can be sent to trial in courts in mainland China run by the Communist Party.
He proposed incentives for visas that will enable residents of Hong Kong already in Australia stay. Students from Hong Kong who graduate from Australia will have the ability to stay for five years and after that, apply for permanent residency. Citizens of Hong Kong on temporary work visas in Australia will also be able to extend for five years, and then apply for permanent residency. Morrison said Australia has a total of 10,000 Hong Kong people on student visas or temporary work visas.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne held a teleconference overnight with her counterparts in the Five Eyes security arrangement, which includes the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand and Canada, on Hong Kong and the new security law, Payne and UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said on Twitter.