During his recent visit to Australia, the Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi’s had many concerns that were worth discussing with the Australian authorities. With the new Skilled Occupations List of Australia taking its effect on July 1, many Indians who have gone there to pursue courses may be asked to return back to their home country. This, of course, is a matter of concern for Indian students who have already invested a lot of their money, as well as for the Indian government. The minister met Australian Foreign Minister, Immigration and Citizenship Minister and Trade Minister, whom he requested that Indian students who have already in the country should be affected by the new list of occupations.
Australia has revised the earlier Skilled Occupations List and with that the number of occupations has been cut down from 400 to only 181 for vocational courses and jobs. It is speculated that about fifteen thousand Indian students are likely to be affected by the list and they would be forced to withdraw and return to India. The Indian minister has urged the Australian government not to be harsh on these students and allow them to complete their courses and gain permanent residency. He also asked the Australian ministers to allow the Indian students a minimum period of two-and-a-half-year, so that the latter can find employment in the country, in order to acquire Australian permanent residency.
However, the Australian ministers did not promise anything in this regard. Still, the Indian minister is hopeful that the Oz authorities will look into the matter and take needful actions! In the meantime, The Joint Secretary for the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs confirmed that the new Skill Occupations List is not going to hamper sixty percent of the Indian students in Australia, while thirty percent will be provided with a transition time limit of two-and-a-half-year to look for some engagement. The remaining ten percent, which constitutes Indian students who did not have vocational or language skills; and entered the country on student visas only to get employed and then PR, is likely to face problem. Regarding the latter, the Indian ministry has analyzed that it is entirely the Australia’s fault to issue these Indians with student visas, knowing that they did not possess any of the skills. But, the Australian authority has defended themselves saying that those were student visas, but as per the new list of occupations, they would not be provided with the permanent residence status in Australia.
Well, the outcomes of the new Skilled Occupations List are yet to witness, but earlier this year many overseas students had been affected by the Australian government’s order to shut down many privately-run educational institutions that do not meet the standards set by the country’s federal and state governments. The Indian High Commission in Australia had already alerted Indian students intending to pursue courses in Australia about the existence of many institutions that do not fulfill its governments’ standards.