12 June 2008

Students on Australian visas should be 'wary of employers'

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International students working in Australia are being warned to be wary when gaining employment in the country, reports the Age. Interviews from the Australian Research Council with 200 international students holding Australian visas found nearly 60 per cent could be receiving wages below the minimum standard.

The research found 58.1 per cent of students are paid less than AUS$15 per hour, with a third getting under AUS$10 an hour. People on an Australian visa are being warned to be fully informed when accepting a job and its conditions.

According to the newspaper, the study also found that many international students are offered to work more than the 20 hours allowed under their Australian visa requirements, meaning they engage in illegal 'off the books' work. Professor Chris Nyland, who was involved in the study, said he was pleased with the movements the Victorian government were making to develop policy options. The Federal Government recently changed the workplace regulation for international students, so that they are now automatically granted the right to work under their Australian visa, rather than having to apply for a separate visa.

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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