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Red tape ties up business migrants

WA IS missing out on a potential flood of business migrants due to an application processing hold-up in Indonesia.

A Department of Immigration and Multicul-tural Affairs spokesman said the Australian embassy in Jakarta was trying to clear a backlog of 1,200 applications.

Some are believed to date back to 1998.

The backlog was caused by a huge increase in business migration applications that is generally attributed to the Asian financial crisis and Australia’s reputation as a stable business environment with good access to Asia.

The DIMA has set up a new section in its Perth office to process about half of the backed-up applications.

CEC Consultants Aust-ralia director Peter Edwards said Indonesia was a major business migration market for Australia.

He said the backlog was costly, because those business migrants could move on to countries that could process their applications quickly.

Canada, Australia’s big-gest competitor for business migrants, can process applications in six months.

Singapore is understood to be considering increasing its immigration and New Zealand is always a threat.

Indonesia is Australia’s largest source of business migrants.

In the past 12 months 535 business migrants from Indonesia had their entry into Australia approved.

Mr Edwards said business migrants were the most lucrative form of migrants.

“While they are smaller in numbers than other migration categories, government figures show they potentially create more employment and business opportunities than any other migrant class,” he said.

Indonesia’s plunging exchange rate could cost some Indonesian business migrants their chance to come to Australia.

The worth of a business migrant’s assets is critical to the success of their application.

“The fact their assets could be devalued by their country’s exchange rate does not reflect fairly on their business skills,” Mr Edwards said.

The worth of a business migrant’s assets is critical to the success of their application.

“The fact their assets could be devalued by their country’s exchange rate does not reflect fairly on their business skills.

“The Migration Institute of Australia has recommended to the DIMA that a solution be sought to this assessment problem.

“Hopefully a suitable option can be determined to prevent losing Australia’s largest business migration and investment markets.”

This exchange rate problem also applies to business migrants from countries such as Zimbabwe.

The nation’s political and social upheaval is causing many business people to consider leaving.

However, their assets are worth little given the economic state of the country.

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