15 July 2009

Thirty-six overseas students being held for breach of Australian visa

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Thirty-six overseas students, some as young as 18, are being held in immigration detention for breaching Australian study visa conditions.

Australian student visa

Thirty-six overseas students have been detained for Australian visa violations.

The Australian student visa infringements by the students, aged between 18 and 21, include not passing subjects and poor attendance although the Australian Immigration Department insists that none of the detained students was locked up solely for failing to meet course requirements.

Government figures reveal some 2646 overseas students have been detained since January 2001. The average period of detention is 81 days. 

Most of the Australian student visa holders being held are from China, but others come from India and Pakistan - countries already sensitive about the treatment of their student nationals in Australia.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship said Australian student visa holders currently in detention had posed an unacceptable risk to the community, or had repeatedly refused to comply with visa conditions.

An Australian student visa can be cancelled for a variety of reasons, including failure to meet course requirements such as "passing subjects" and "attending class".

A department spokesperson said most of those in detention had overstayed their Australian visas. None had been locked up "simply for breaching attendance requirements or failing to meet minimum course requirements", although these could be factors in non-compliance with Australian visa conditions.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with Australian visas and immigration

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