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Pacific Islanders and leaders welcome new Australia visa lottery scheme

The federal government on Thursday announced legislation for a new visa allowing up to 3,000 people from the Pacific region to migrate to Australia as permanent residents each year. 

Under a proposed two-stage process workers and their families from across the Pacific will be offered a path to permanent residency.

Under the scheme, citizens from around the Pacific can apply with the winners selected in a so-called "visa lottery" reports

If their name is drawn, applicants will then have to secure a work offer from an Australian employer to be eligible.

They will also have to pass a health check and a character test, and be able to speak some English.

The scheme, which the government hopes to have up and running by July, is only open to people between the ages of 18 and 45.


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