New survey shows that majority of the nationals of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Britain support visa free movement among these countries similar to the visa free travel in European Union, ABC News reported on March 12, 2016. The idea might be popular among the masses but officials do not favor visa free movement due to security concerns.
The Royal Commonwealth Society carried out the survey which indicated significant levels of support for a European Union-style system of free movement between the four countries.
The support for the visa free travel idea between the four Commonwealth nations was highest among Kiwis (82%), Canadians (75%) and Australian (70%). Only 58% of British nationals liked the idea thinking if people from European Union can come to Britain for work without visa then why not nationals of Australia or New Zealand.
Australian High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, saw the proposal as a security concern and bad for border control. Alexander Downer, however, showed his disappointment on the strict visa rules making it more difficult for Australians to come to UK. He was referring to the fees levied by UK to Australians and New Zealand nationals staying over six months to cover National Health Services and hike in the income requirements for permanent residency.
UK government is trying to lower the net migration by imposing strict immigration regulations. Alexander Downer warned that the policy can hurt relationship between UK and Australia. Australian investors have to consider the fact that they should be able to bring in Australian professionals when needed to help their business in UK which is only possible through liberal visa policies.
Majority of the people surveyed in those four counties might believe that visa free travel is good option but it is most probably going to find no or little support among the governments.