India allays fears over Oz`s new immigration rules

As a new immigration law came into force in Australia today, India allayed apprehension of negative impact to its students studying there.

New Delhi: As a new immigration law came
into force in Australia today, India allayed apprehension of
negative impact to its students studying there, saying that
the Australian government has adopted a "helping attitude" and
has allowed them to continue till 2012.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said the
the Australian Government has allowed the Indian students, who
are already in that country, to continue till 2012 to help
them while significantly pruning the skilled job list for
foreign students.

"Australian Government has taken a helping attitude
towards the Indian students," Ravi said in an interview.

Under the new migration rules, the Rudd government has
trimmed the skilled occupation list (SOL) for getting
permanent resident status in Australia from the earlier 450 to

The SOL now does not comprise courses like hair dressing
and cookery among others, which were popular among Indian
students seeking permanent residency there.

The Australian government has started closing down
educational institutions offering vocational education where a
sizeable number of Indian students have been studying.

"The latest decision is that they will allow the students
to stay till 2012 if they get sponsors. And I think, a
sizeable number of students are capable of finding sponsor,"
he said.

Ravi said during his recent visit to Australia, he had
requested the Australian government to take into account
concerns of Indian students studying there while implementing
new migration laws.

Admitting that the new law will impact the Indian
students, he said around 25,000 to 30,000 students may be
affected. "I think the returnees will be not that much. It
should be around 10,000 to 15,000."

Ravi said following attacks on Indian students in that
country, Australia had promised to review the migration

"It was found that the agents send the students for
vocational courses saying that they could get job as well as
permanent residency in the country," he said adding that now
Australia will not issue visa for vocational courses like
cookery and hair dressing.

Ravi said the authorities there are also offering
alternative courses to Indian students, if a particular
college where they were studying has been closed down.

According to him, since a large number Indian students
came to Australia under the previous immigration rules and are
currently enrolled in vocational colleges, that country should
ensure that they complete their studies.

Indians are the second largest group of foreign students
in Australian after the Chinese. Over one lakh Indians are
enrolled in different colleges in that country.


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