18 November 2009

Successful software developer faces difficulties obtaining Australia Visa

A successful South African software developer is not able to obtain an independent Australian Visa because he is quadriplegic, despite the IT industry suffering from a severe shortage of workers.

Ryan Dekker, who was shot through his spine 10 years ago, says he poses no costs to the health system.

Australia immigration officials have decided the 35-year-old would be a burden to Australia's economy and have blocked his application for an Australian  Skilled Independent Visa because his health costs to the Australia government would be at least $460 a year if he lives the average life span.

An immigration departmental spokesman says there are other Australia visa options available to Mr Dekker to emigrate to Australia.

Mr Dekker says in South Africa he doesn’t use public health care and pays for his own private health care.

"I work, I support myself, I pay for a care giver that helps me at home so I'm completely independent financially and I can do a lot of things even being disabled,” he said.

The Federal Government has put Mr Dekker's profession on the critical skills list  of shortages, meaning that IT professionals can receive priority processing with their Australian visa applications.

A peak body for the IT industry, the Australian Computer Society, predicts another 14,000 workers will be needed next year, and within a decade it is expected the industry will be short of 25,000 people.

 The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to Australia. 

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