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Australia Opens Visa Gate For Students

29 May 2013


Immigration News

Australia has tweaked its visa rules, allowing skilled graduates to stay in the country for up to four years.

While Australian immigration authorities have been clamping down on certain types of visas, they are keen on attracting the best talent Down Under.

Anyone graduating from an Australian university was previously allowed to stay in the country for 18 months to gain work experience. But this has now been extended to four years under the graduate skilled visa scheme to allow immigrants to build up their work experience.

Once the required work experience has been gained it then converts to permanent residency, which is highly coveted given Australia’s high quality of living and booming economy.

A student must apply for this type of visa within six months of graduating and will have to undergo a skills assessment beforehand.

Zeke Bentley, principal migration lawyer at Queensland-based The Migration Place (www.themigrationplace.com), said: “As always, timing is everything in migration law, and it is important to lodge as soon as possible before the rules are changed, yet again.”

Demand for places from overseas students at Australian universities is expected to spike among those immigrants keen on settling down there after their studies. Australia is already the most popular destination for British expats, with more than one million residing Down Under.

Applications for student visas are already on the rise thanks to Australia’s new streamlined visa application system, according to its Immigration Department.

Its data also shows that almost 95 per cent of visa applications were successful, compared with just under 90 per cent in the same period last year.

The International Education Association of Australia (www.cibis.com.au) said the figures are heading in the right direction to encourage more foreign students to apply to Australian universities and colleges.

Its executive director Phil Honeywood said: “Australia has also been the beneficiary of a recent push against student visas being approved in the UK and the US. We’re now seeing much more skills-focused student visa applications.”

Earlier this year the government simplified its visa application process for highly skilled workers as it looks to compete for the best global talent with London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.

It introduced a new short-stay visa for workers heading to Australia to perform highly specialised work. A new streamlined medical treatment visa that provides for a stay of up to 12 months has also been launched.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatnews/10076458/Australia-opens-visa-gate-for-students.html


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