Many hundreds of overseas students participated in a protest rally in Sydney on Thursday in order to show their unlikeness on Australia’s new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) that comes into effect from July 1, 2010. The new SOL does not include jobs titles like hairdressers and cooks/chefs. Apparently, the changes have made many international students furious!
The huge number of international students united for the protest and started a rally from Sydney Town Hall and ended that at the office for Australia’s immigration department. The rally was organized by the Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS). According to the association, international students are very upset with the government’s decision to bring changes to the existing skilled occupation list. It believes that the amendments which are included in the list are unfair on the part of international students who have been pursuing Australian education in a hope to obtain status of skilled migrants in the country. The rally organizer further commented that things should remain same as in the existing SOL, and students should be allowed to apply for skilled migration with the existing occupation list.
The organizer of the rally also acknowledged that the Australian government has the right to act for sake of the country and its communities, and make changes accordingly, but it should not be violating the rights of the international students, whose primary objective is to gain knowledge academically. The government has the right to bring changes to its immigration policies, given they do not violate the rights of the international students.