27 March 2012

Australian visa rules implement Knight review

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Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has announced that changes to the way foreign students' applications for an Australian visa are processed were implemented on 24, March.

Australia visa

The Knight reforms suggested several recommendations which have now been implemented.

Mr Bowen said the changes were part of the recommendations made in the Knight review, a highly critical report by former politician Michael Knight which claimed the country's education sector was hampered by an outdated Australian visa system.

The immigration minister said the changes proved Australia's commitment to making the country a premier destination for international students.

"International education plays a vital role in a growing economy, educational outcomes and Australia's diplomatic engagement with other countries, so it's important that we give it the best possible support," said Mr Bowen.

The changes include new processing methods for international students enrolled in Bachelor, Masters’ and Doctoral courses which would ensure applications are easier to understand and processed more efficiently.

Mr Bowen said the changes would ensure all applicants are treated equally regardless of their country of origin and would have to provide less evidence in support of their application.

"Universities in Australia have embraced the opportunity to sign up to the arrangements, which are expected to help boost international enrolments for semester two 2012 and beyond," said Mr Bowen.

He said more flexible work conditions would offer more incentives for employers to take on international students while foreign postgraduate students would also be allowed to take up work related to their research.

Mr Bowen added that other recommendations suggested in the Knight review would also be implemented over the coming months.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent Australian immigration consultancy specialising in helping people lodge applications with the Australian Embassy.

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