India allays fears over new immigration rules in Australia | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India allays fears over new immigration rules in Australia

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.

delhi Updated: Jul 01, 2010 18:10 IST

As a new immigration law came into force in Australia on Thursday, 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 told PTI 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 150.

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 process.

"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.