Oz announces changes to student visa regime
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Last Updated: Friday, March 23, 2012, 19:37
  
Melbourne: Faced with dwindling international enrollments, Australian government has announced a slew of changes to its student visa regime including the doubling of working hours limit.

Also from Saturday, all visa applicants, regardless of country of origin, applying to study in Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degrees at participating universities, will be treated as though they are lower risk and will need to submit less evidence in support of their visa application.

From March 26, more flexible work conditions for all student visa holders will be introduced, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, said yesterday.

All students will be entitled to work a maximum of 40 hours over a two-week period, rather than being restricted to 20 hours each week.

Post graduate research visa holders will be entitled to work an unlimited amount of hours per week once their course has commenced, he said.

Welcoming the new rules, Australian High Commissioner to India, Peter Varghese in New Delhi said, "These streamlined visa arrangements recognise the strong record of Australia's universities in attracting high quality students and will not only reduce the complexity of the visa application process but also result in faster processing of student visas."

He said there is a very strong commitment from all sides to ensure these changes lead to a steady and sustainable growth in high-quality Indian student enrollment.

Australia's education sector has registered a massive fall of over 3 billion dollars in revenue from foreign students as number of overseas pupils plummeted, affected by a rapidly rising currency, stiffening of the visa regime and violence against Indians.

Latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the value of international students to the education sector has fallen by a whopping 20 per cent last year but the government has dubbed this decline "as expected, and a good thing".

Australia's education sector that drew a large number of foreign students, including Indians, is one of the major revenue earners in Australia.

PTI


First Published: Friday, March 23, 2012, 18:52


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