11 June 2010

Australian Student Visas will not be capped, says Minister

The Rudd Government has no intention of putting a limit on the number of Australian Student Visas issued each year, the Australian Immigration Minister has announced.

Australian Student Visa

The recent changes to Australian immigration will not affect Australian Student Visas, the Minister said.

The Australian Immigration Minister, Senator Chris Evans, said there was no basis for the concerns by education providers about the possible impact of proposed legislation that would allow the Government to cap and cease certain Australian visa sub classes.

“I want to assure the university sector and all providers of quality education that Australia will continue to welcome students from across the globe to study in our country,” he said.

“The proposed legislation is designed to provide flexibility in the management of the general skilled migration program and to ensure we are able to get the balance right when it comes to targeting the skilled workers we need.

“The legislation, which was introduced into Parliament last month, will allow the Government to control the numbers of visas issued in certain occupations if necessary but will not have any impact on students wishing to come to Australia to study.”

While changes have been made to the skilled migration program for Australia, the Government says it has put in place generous transitional arrangements to assist international students adjust.

International students who were in Australia prior to February 8, 2010 and hold a vocational, higher education or postgraduate Australian Student Visa are able to apply either for permanent residence if their occupation is on the new SOL, or a temporary skilled graduate visa on completion of their studies.

A skilled graduate visa allows former students to spend 18 months in Australia to acquire work experience and seek sponsorship from an employer willing to sponsor them into a job using those skills. This transitional arrangement will run through to the end of 2012.

Senator Evans said the changes announced do not affect international students who want to come to Australia to study and then return home.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa applications with the Australian Embassy.   

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