Oz tightens immigration rules to favour skilled workers
  • This Section
  • Latest
  • Web Wrap
Last Updated: Monday, February 08, 2010, 18:11
  
Melbourne: Australia on Monday tightened its immigration rules to favour higher-skilled workers as against "hairdressers" and "cooks," a revision that will lead to the rejection of an estimated 20,000 migration applications from foreign students, including Indians.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans said the revision of the immigration rules will tilt the inflow of foreign migrants to invite more doctors, engineers and IT professionals to suit Australia's local demands.

He also announced scrapping of the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) to limit the eligibility for independent skilled migration to "a more targeted set of occupations".

"It (MODL) encouraged overseas students to train in particular occupations to make it easier to acquire permanent residence, in the process skewing the skilled migration programme to a narrow set of occupations," he said.

Blaming the access of lower skilled immigrants as against skilled professionals on the migration system hitherto in place, he said: "We were taking hairdressers from overseas in front of doctors and nurses, it didn't make any sense".

On the deficiencies in the existing system, Evans said: "A Rhodes Scholar would not pass the points test if he or she took a degree in chemistry or mathematics... (but) there are several occupations .. cooks and hairdressers ..where international students can study in Australia, acquire qualifications in space of 92 weeks and be on the road to permanent residence".

"Under the previous government's policy settings, the skilled migration programme has been delivering too many self- nominated migrants from a narrow range of occupations with poor to moderate English language skills who struggle to find employment in their nominated occupation," Evans said.

The Age newspaper reported that the revision would affect 20,000 migrant applicants from foreign students, including Indians, seeking permanent residency through hairdressing, cookery and other courses.

The new rules will also favour applicants who have sponsors or job offers over those who have qualifications or who are studying and the transition arrangement will run through to the end of 2012.

The new system is also expected to tackle unscrupulous migration agents who mislead foreign students into believing that completion of a course in Australia gave them an automatic entitlement to permanent residence.

"It does not and it will not. A student visa is just that: a visa to study," he made it clear.

He said this will also reform the immigration rules to be demand-driven rather than supply-driven.

Australia has over one lakh Indian students, about 19 per cent of total foreign enrolments. The UK, China, India and South Korea, account for the largest immigrant intake of Australia.

The measures, that come after a spate of attacks on Indian students, are expected to dampen enrolment in colleges by foreign students hoping to settle in the country.

PTI


First Published: Monday, February 08, 2010, 18:11


comments powered by Disqus