Australia to extend visas of about 10,000, suspends extradition pact

Local | 9 Jul 2020 11:51 am

Australia will extend the visas of some Hong Kong citizens in response to China's crackdown on personal freedoms and dissent, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.

The changes apply to people already in Australia, offering safe haven and a path to permanent residency, ABC News reports.

Temporary work visa holders and student visa holders currently in Australia will have their visas extended, allowing them to stay in Australia for five years.

They will have the opportunity to apply for permanent residency after that period.

"The most significant impact of the decisions we've made today are for those around 10,000 people who are already in Australia," Morrison said.

Australia has also informed Hong Kong that it will suspend its extradition agreement with the city.

The travel advice for Hong Kong now warns that Australians "may be at increased risk of detention on vaguely defined national security grounds".

Hong Kong has recently introduced new national security laws which criminalize dissent and opposition to Chinese rule.

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