Options Remain For Overseas Students

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9th February 2010, 02:57pm - Views: 325
Options Remain for Overseas Students

Overseas students who are currently studying in Australia will still have options to seek permanent residence in Australia if they have the skills and qualifications needed by employers.

The changes to Australia's skilled migration program announced yesterday will ensure that it operates as a demand rather than a supply driven system that delivers the skills most needed in the economy.

International students currently studying in Australia who hold a vocational, higher education or postgraduate student visa will still be able to apply for permanent residence if their occupation is on the new Skilled Occupations List (SOL).

The new SOL, to be developed by Skills Australia, will be tightly focused on high value skills that will assist in addressing Australia's future skills needs. It will deliver a mix of skills across the professions and trades in areas such as healthcare, engineering and mining. The SOL will be available in April and will be reviewed annually.

Students currently studying a course in an occupation that is not on the new SOL will have until the end of 2012 to apply for a temporary skilled graduate visa which will enable them to spend up to 18 months in Australia to acquire work experience and find an Australian employer willing to sponsor them on completion of their course.

It must be remembered that a student visa is just that: a visa to study. It does not give someone an automatic entitlement to permanent residence.

International students should be focused on obtaining a good qualification from a quality education provider in a field in which they want to work.

Similarly, Australia's migration program is not and should not be determined by the courses studied by international students.

The Rudd Government's view is that quality education providers will continue to prosper if they focus on their core business of delivering high quality courses to both Australian and overseas students.

Australia welcomes international students and will continue to provide an opportunity for those who have the necessary qualifications and skills to find an Australian employer willing to sponsor them for a permanent visa.

Media Contact:
Simon Dowding
(02) 6277 7860 or
0411 138 541

SOURCE: Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

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