Recent years have seen a surge in the numbers of Malaysian visitors coming to Australia on electronic visitor visas, and then going on to apply for protection visas in a bid to stay longer.
Between July 2017 and February 2019 1,779 Malaysians had their visas cancelled before clearing immigration — more than 20 each week. At the end of 2018, of approximately 10,000 electronic visa holders who had overstayed their visa, three-quarters were from Malaysia. This represents almost one third of all removals, even though Malaysia provides fewer than one in 20 tourists to Australia.
The Government is now refusing entry to hundreds of Malaysians each year before they clear immigration at airports.
A Malay Minister said “Malaysians were drawn to Australia due to higher wages, the low cost of applying for a protection visa and the “world-class” education system — and not because they were being persecuted at home.”