November 7, 2013

The number of visa applications granted for overseas students to study in Australia has increased by approximately 4% marking the second year in a row of growth for the sector.

Numbers had previously been falling but the financial year 2012/2013 has seen figures rise with the previous year of 290,761 applications lodged compared with 280,003, according to data from the annual Student Visa Programme Trends report.

In the second quarter of 2013, approximately 93% of visa applications assessed during this period were granted a visa.

The report shows that student visa numbers have returned to a sustainable growth over the last two years and this is part of a broader trend throughout the past 10 years.

The report states that this growth has been driven by applications lodged outside of Australia which increased by 11.1% in the same period and there were 304,251 student visa holders in Australia as of 30 June 2013. Of these visa holders, 23.4% were from China, the largest cohort, followed by 10% from India.

During the June 2013 quarter, 75% of all student visas were processed within 30 days, while 50% were processed within 14 days. About 93% of applications assessed during this period were granted a visa.

International students must have a valid visa for the duration of their studies in Australia. Most international students will need a student visa. However, visitor visas permit up to three months study and working holiday maker visas permit up to four months study.

To be eligible for a student visa, applicants must be accepted for full time study in a course listed on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS.) Applicants must also meet financial, health insurance, English language proficiency and character requirements.

There is no limit on the number of student visas issued each year. If applicants meet requirements, they will be granted a student visa. Student visas are issued for the entire period of study in Australia. Visas are issued in alignment with the period for which the applicant has Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC.)

There are two other visas related to the student visa programme, the Student Guardian (subclass 580) visa and the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa. The Student Guardian visa is for individuals who wish to accompany and care for minors studying in Australia. The Temporary Graduate visa allows international students to live and work in Australia temporarily after they have finished their studies.

Student visas include a condition that, once the course has commenced, allows most students to work for up to 40 hours per fortnight while their course is in session and for unlimited hours during course breaks.

There can be some confusion about working hours but students are urged to make sure that they know what they are permitted to do. ‘The limitation imposed by this visa condition reflects the purpose of a student visa; that it is to allow entry to Australia in order to study, not to work. Secondary visa holders are subject to a visa condition that limits them to 40 hours work per fortnight at any time,’ said an immigration spokesman.

March 12, 2012

 

The government will replace the six employer sponsored permanent visa programs with two simplified categories.

The Australian Government has announced plans to make it easier for skilled migrants to become permanent Australian residents.

The Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the changes will simplify the process for people who hold 457 visas which give temporary work rights, to apply for the permanent employer-sponsored visa program.

From July this year, overseas workers in the 457 category won’t have to have a second skills test and English test to become eligible for residency.

But the changes will tighten the application process for people who apply for permanent visas without having worked in Australia already.

Mr Bowen says applicants seeking direct entry to Australia will first be expected to sit a basic English test .

“Particularly remembering these people are often living in regional Australia, where perhaps the level of access to English training might not be as extensive as it would be in capital cities, and they will be working in occupations that will require a good level of English in any event,” he said.

Mr Bowen says the government will also replace the six employer sponsored permanent visa programs with two simplified categories.

He says the changes will help deal with critical skills shortages in some industries.

The chief executive of the Australian Federation of Employers and Industries, Gary Brack, told Radio Australia the streamlined process could help alleviate labor supply shortages in some sectors.

“One of the most important aspects of this is the speed with which you can actually make the transition,” he said.

“Employers get caught short in the market if they can’t recruit somebody. A lot of them are desperate to get people at a particular time. So if it can be expedited in the way that it’s been discussed, then that will certainly be advantageous.”

Ged Kearney, the president of Australia’s peak union body, the ACTU, says while the changes would have distinct advantages for overseas workers, it must not undermine the ability for local workers to obtain those jobs.

She told Radio Australia there is a possibility that migrant workers could be exploited by their employers under the planned changes.

“We would not like to see a situation where the overseas worker’s still bonded to an employer simply because they have been encouraged to hang on – maybe in sub-standard terms and conditions or sub-standard wages et cetera, with the promise that if you work for less money, or work for less conditions, we can now get you permanent residency,” she said.

The Opposition says the government should go further with its attempts to cut red tape for skilled migration.

The Coalition’s immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says the government should also reintroduce the immigration concessions that were scrapped in 2009.

“The government abolished the regional concessions for 457s when they came to government ,which was a major and important program for particularly small and regional business,” he said.

“The government has not restored those concessions.”

 

The new system will operate from July 1.

 

Source: Reuters – Anna Henderson and Girish Sawlani, Canberra Fri, 9 Mar 2012

March 9, 2012

 

INTERNATIONAL students comprise over a quarter of onshore enrolments at half of the Group of Eight, while one in three students at highly ranked Macquarie University is from overseas, a new Australian Education International report has found.

The AEI snapshot suggests Australia’s elite universities are heavily reliant on fragile overseas markets, with international students representing around 27 per cent of enrolments at Melbourne, ANU, UNSW and Adelaide.

The DEEWR-sourced data shows that the proportion of international students at all Go8 institutions apart from the University of Western Australia is above the national average of 22.3 per cent.

But international education researcher Alan Olsen said this was a reasonable average, and it was no surprise Go8 institutions were above it.

“An aggregate 22.3 per cent is appropriate for Australia, where 22.2 per cent of us were born overseas and 21.5 per cent speak a language other than English at home,” Mr Olsen said.

Mr Olsen said only around 8 per cent of people in the UK were born overseas, and about 12 per cent in the US.

A separate AEI report last month found that Australia’s proportion of international tertiary enrolments was more than three times the OECD average of 6.7 per cent, and six times the US average of 3.4 per cent.

But it found international students in the US were concentrated in about 25 highly ranked institutions, with two – Columbia and the University of Southern California – experiencing international proportions above the Australian average.

The international proportion of enrolments was 22.1 per cent at Stanford, 20 per cent at Cornell, 19.9 per cent at Georgia Institute of Technology and 18.4 per cent at Harvard, it added.

But these figures pale compared to some Australian universities, with the dual-sector University of Ballarat leading the pack at 47.7 per cent, followed by private Bond University at 40.5 per cent.

Ballarat has about 5600 domestic students and 5100 international students, according to the new AEI figures.

But Ballarat vice-chancellor David Battersby said the figures were “disingenuous” because they didn’t differentiate between dual-sector and standalone universities.

“They create a false impression about what a dual-sector university is, suggesting some sort of line in the sand between our higher education and VET students,” he said.

“That’s not the case – we have integrated schools. Why would they want to make the dual-sectors invisible in all this?”

Professor Battersby said Ballarat had a total of about 17,000 domestic students and an international proportion of about 22 per cent.

The AEI figures reveal above average international proportions at the other three Victorian dual-sectors – 32.8 per cent at Swinburne, 29.3 per cent at RMIT and 23.8 per cent at VU.

A DEEWR spokesperson said AEI had used information supplied by universities. “This ensures comparable data for all institutions,” he said.

“The table compares onshore international and domestic higher education students. [No] VET students were included for any university.”

Professor Battersby said most of Ballarat’s international students were with longstanding partners.

“While there has been a decline in our overall number of international students, our partner provider model has proven to be resilient,” he said.

Meanwhile, draft legislation for the tuition protection service – the new consumer protection facility for overseas students recommended by the Baird review – suggests universities will be required to sign up.

Universities and TAFEs have been exempted from paying fees to the existing ESOS Assurance Fund, and universities had lobbied for the arrangement to continue.

But Professor Battersby said the TPS needed to be seen as part of “a big package of arrangements” for international students including the Knight Review student visa reforms as well as changes stemming from the Baird Review.

Source : Australian

July 8, 2010

 

 

From 1 July 2010 DIAC require overseas students to obtain OSHC for the proposed duration of their Student visa.

Where a student will be studying at more than one education provider, the requirement remains that the student must maintain health insurance for the duration of their visa. There cannot be a gap in the OSHC coverage.

If a student has already obtained OSHC for a 12 month period before 1 July they will not be asked to obtain further insurance. They will be expected to renew their policy when it expires.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is intended to assist international students to meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia.

A student visa can be granted up to the maximum duration outlined below:

Visa duration is 10 months or less – The visa will usually be granted up to one month longer than the duration of the course.

Visa duration is longer than 10 Months – The visa will usually be granted up to two months longer that the duration of the course.

Visa duration is longer than 10 Months and finishing at the end of the Australian academic year (October – December) – The visa will usually be granted up to March 15 of the following year.

For all students submitting applications from July onwards, we will calculate the visa length and issue a statement of fees which reflects an OSHC amount as per the information above.

The start date for the OSHC will be from the course commencement date

To assist students who are now preparing to make fees payment and request their CoE’s it is advised that you contact the relevant Education Counsellor to obtain a revised statement showing the correct OSHC fees. Please ensure that this is requested prior to the student preparing their fees payment through TT or Bank Draft.

In the case where payment is received without the additional OSHC amount, the outstanding fees will be required prior to the CoE being issued

IEAA help students to get their OSHC free of any additional service charge . Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Additional information can be found attached or at http://www.immi.gov.au/students/_pdf/oshc-faq.pdf