Australia will introduce a Pacific visa lottery scheme, allowing 3,000 people from Pacific nations and East Timor to apply for a permanent Australian visa each year. This is similar to the United States’ “green card” system, which grants work rights and a pathway to citizenship. Immigration Minister Andrew Giles stated that the scheme would strengthen relations with the Pacific and not impact Australia’s overall annual migration program. To be eligible, applicants must be between 18 and 45 years old, have a job offer, pass health, character, and basic English tests, and be able to bring their dependents on the visa. The scheme could be adapted in the future for other temporary and permanent migration programs. Pacific Minister Pat Conroy called the scheme “revolutionary” and said it would deepen the Pacific diaspora in Australia. Opposition home affairs spokeswoman Karen Andrews said there is a critical shortage of skilled and unskilled workers and she is open to looking at the government’s solutions.