13 July 2010

Australian Visa rules slammed by new student body

An international student body has slammed the new Australian Visa rules and says the government changes have hit student residency hopes.

Australian Visa

An international student body has criticised recent Australian Visa changes.

The new Council of International Students Australia (CISA) also called for Australian Visa reform on student’s work restrictions and increased student accommodation, as well as for New South Wales and Victoria to extend travel concessions to international students.

CISA president Robert Atcheson, an American law student studying at the Australian National University, said the recent Australia immigration changes to permanent residency rules unfairly targeted students.

Mr Atcheson said students have come here under a legislative expectation that if they complete their studies they would be eligible to apply for permanent residency. These students were already in Australia and have already paid their fees, he said.

The Australian Government has changed the occupations eligible for permanent residency, and placed more emphasis on employer sponsorship in an effort to stop overseas students from coming to Australia to study purely as a means of securing residency. 

The government has introduced transitional arrangements including an 18-month Australian visa for recent graduates to try to secure work experience and employer sponsorship, thereby allowing them to stay in the country.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australia immigration applications with the Australian High Commission.   

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