New Oz migration rules to hit 15,000 students

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Old 30-Jun-2010
New Oz migration rules to hit 15,000 students

New Delhi, June 29

The controversial amendments to the Australian migration system, likely to affect nearly 15,000 Indian students in the Kangaroo land, are all set to come into force from July 1.

Australia has slashed the existing Skilled Occupations List (SOL) from 400 skills to just 181 for vocational courses and jobs, which are the prerequisites for getting permanent resident status and student visas Down Under.

There have already been protests regarding the changes to the immigration policies but the Australian authorities have so far refused to reconsider the move.

Out of the changes to the immigration policies which concern Indian students is the elimination of a few occupations like catering, hairdressing and community welfare from the SOL, which happen to be popular occupations among Indian students.

Since these occupations have been erased from the SOL, the Indian students are losing their hopes of starting their life afresh in Australia by changing the profession. On top of it, any further studies are also not going to help them either.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi, who was recently in Australia, had requested Ozís Department of Immigration and Citizenship to make some transitional arrangements for students from India so that they were not grievously hurt by the new rules.

Indian officials say they have pleaded with the Australian authorities that since these students had been issued visas despite prior knowledge that they did not have vocational or language skills, they should be allowed to continue staying in the Kangaroo land.

The Australian government, however, says that the changes in the SOL are a part of the countryís plan to enhance its visa process and at the same time to make sure that it attracts the needed skilled workers from the international market in order to fulfil Australiaís skill shortages.

But the catering and restaurant industry in Australia, already reeling under the shortage of chefs and cooks, is not happy with the new amendments. Some restaurants will go out of business and others be forced to shorten their trading hours without labour, restaurant and catering Australia chief executive John Hart has ben quoted as saying in the media.

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