India has impressed upon Australia to implement the changes in its migration policy "prospectively" and "not retrospectively" so that they do not have adverse impact on Indian students studying here.
Vayalar Ravi, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister, who is currently on a five-day visit here, held talks with Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, Trade Minister Simon Crean, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Evans and discussed various bilateral issues, including welfare of the Indian diaspora.
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 popular courses like hair dressing and cookery among others, which were popular among Indian students seeking permanent residency here.
Raising the issue of changes made in the country's migration policy in February, Ravi impressed upon the Australian government that these proposed changes should be effected prospectively and should not have retrospective effect.
"Since there is a large number of affected Indian population, especially the students who had come under the previous immigration rules, the Indian government will be trying to seek appropriate transitional arrangements as part of this new policy," said an official statement.
There are some one lakh Indian students studying in Australia in various courses. Protests and rallies have been held by various international student bodies since the proposed changes to Australia's existing migration policy were announced.
Ravi also met Premier of Victoria John Brumby and discussed with him possibilities of the province helping the students find employment under the state sponsored immigration policy.
The minister also met leaders of the Indian community and the Indian diaspora. His visit to Australia is aimed at building confidence of the Indian community which was facing a spate of attacks.
The Overseas Indian Affairs Minister will also pay a two-day visit to New Zealand.