16 June 2009

Australian visa application numbers remain high for Indians

The number of Australian visa application lodgements for Indian students has remained at steady levels, despite there being negative press about recent security concerns in Australia.

Australian visa application numbers still high

Australian visa application numbers are still high for Indian students.

Naresh Gulati, CEO of Oceanic Consultants, said the number of Australian visa application lodgements for Indian students has not been affected by the media attention, telling the Economic Times that parents have been reassured of the increased security measures in Australian universities.

"There has been no decline in the number of applications we were receiving for Australian student visa. Yes, we had received some calls from anxious parents, but now everything has settled down," Gulati said.

Gulati said Australia's reputation should not be tarnished by media reports sensationalising the recent events, because in reality Australia provides a world-class destination for international students.

"Australia is the most conducive, friendly and non-racist place that really encourages students to settle there. My whole family is living there and we have not faced any kind of racial attack or discrimination so far," Gulati added.

The government is heavily reliant on the Australian student visa program for bringing in over $12 billion in revenue each year.  Around 93,000 Indian students are studying in Australia currently, making them an essential ingredient in maintaining Australia's third largest export industry.

Atul Malhotra, managing director of Bright Overseas Consultancy, said that many Indian students are attracted to Australia because the pathway to a permanent Australian visa is easier that other developed countries. 

"Even the Australian government is earning huge revenue from international students so they should guarantee their safety. In most of the cases, students are going there to earn PR (permanent residence) status as formalities there are less cumbersome if we compare it with other developed countries," he added.

According to the newspaper, the most popular courses chosen by Indians in Australia lead to hairdresser, accounting, hospitality, and hotel management jobs.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Australian visa application.

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