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Indian Nurses Facing Deportation From Australia For Lack Of English Proficiency

09 Aug 2010


Nursing students, mostly from India are facing deportation from Australia for lack of English proficiency. Students from China, Thailand and Philippines are also facing the same situation. In all, 400 nursing students are facing the situation. The reason stated by the authorities is that the ‘goal posts’ midway have been changed, by raising minimum English language standards.

The score for International English Language Testing System has been raised from 6.5 to an academic 7 level which means more proficiency and competency required. This was raised by The Nursing and Midwifery Board. The Australians are following UK in applying strict standards in written and speaking knowledge as a must for work permits and citizenship.

"The goal posts have been changed on these students," ANF Victorian branch secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick was quoted by 'The Australian' newspaper.

Fitzpatrick said the students would struggle to pay back their loans on nursing salaries in India, and that many had sold their homes to finance coming to Australia in the first place.

The troubled nursing students have received backing from the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF), which has described the change in registration requirements as an "absolute bureaucratic debacle."

The tragedy struck the students, who have just graduated mid-year or are about to graduate. Also, the concern is that no notice has been passed to inform about the change before it came into effect on 1 July 2010. Those whose visas are due to expire within weeks complain they don't have the time to take additional language studies or sit the tests before being made to return home. Now the situation is that they have to re-apply for migration in spite of having job offers from hospitals and aged care homes that are already experience shortage of nurses.


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