Australia Amends its Skills Shortage List

The Government of Australia has made another modification in its immigration program. The Skills-Shortage list was amended again as per the needs of the economy. With the changes in place, qualifications pertaining to either cooking or hairdressing would not permit the candidates as being eligible for the Australian Permanent Residence.

Last year, of the forty one thousand visas that were granted, twelve percent consisted of the cooks and hairdressers. Another seventy five percent consisted of Indians mainly who finished their education from Australia. Other professions in the skilled category that were omitted include dance teacher, naturopath, acupuncturist, hotel manager, interior decorator, piano tuner and journalist.

According to Chris Evans, the Immigration Minister for Australia, foreign students who have studied in Australia and have the required skills for the local economy are permitted to apply for permanent residence. Their employers can also nominate them for the same. However, those applicants in the professions of cooks and hairdressers would not be accepted. This also includes those who have applied under the norms set by the previous government.

These two occupations are among the 219 professionals that have been ejected from the old list which consisted of four hundred occupations. The new list would be put into action from the 1st July which is the beginning of the new financial year. This list would then be updated on an annual basis.

Post 2001, all the foreign students who were studying in Australia were eligible to apply for a permanent residency provided they enrolled and finished courses that would cater to the skills which are required for the development of the Australian economy.

Also, these foreign students were initially not given specific preference for granting a status of Permanent Residence. It was mandatory for the students to return to their country before they could apply for a permanent residence.

The amends brought about in 2001 assured of certain academic courses that would grant a visa. This in turn led to around 90,000 Indians to come and obtain academic qualifications in Australia.

While chopping off the list and keeping only 181 occupations, all the private colleges in Australia (there are 1300 private colleges in Australia) have to get themselves re-accredited all over again. Thus, these institutions would find it difficult to attract more international students under the under current pretext.

However, the Government of Australia has not removed the link between the various courses offered by the universities and the visas related to it. This is because educational qualifications obtained in Australia would be valued more for an immigrant than those that he has obtained abroad. This would lead to increased chances with some courses falling in its nation’s economic requirement. As per Evans, these amends are more focused on fixing the skilled migration in Australia and not the private colleges.

This clearly draws the line between education and immigration in Australia. This would clearly demarcate the lines for those planning to only study and those planning to immigrate to the country. And so, the eligibility criteria would also vary accordingly.

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