The Federal Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Mr. Chris Bowen will meet representatives of the GOCMV on Wednesday 15th June, 2011 at his parliamentary office in Canberra to discuss the matter of immigration of Greek citizens to Australia.
The representation, headed by the President of the GOCMV Mr. Bill Papastergiadis, will inform the Minister of the increasing number of Greek citizens that have expressed interest to migrate to Australia due to the economic and financial crisis in Greece. During the course of the meeting the Minister will also be briefed in regard to the bureaucratic delays and other difficulties that Greek citizens face when applying for Australian visas.
Amongst the recommendations that the GOCMV will be proposing to the government are:
1. The organising of an Australian Skills Expo that is to held in Greece in the very near future, similar to those currently held in the U.K. This will provide an opportunity for skilled and qualified Greeks who are interested in working in Australia to speak to potential employers and the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship about work and visa options.
2. The signing of a reciprocal agreement between Australia and Greece to allow both Australian and Greek citizens to apply for Working Holiday Visas.
3. The processing of visas for Greek nationals that is currently occurring in Berlin should be moved to Athens. Sufficient staff and resources should be provided to the Athens Embassy to ensure that the visas of Greek nationals can be lodged and processed with minimum delays.
The representatives will include members of the Board of Management of the GOCMV, Greek migration specialists and an executive member of the Australian Hellenic Council.