Australian Financial Review | 30 September 2013
The Abbott government will look at liberalising immigration rules, including offering easier permanent residency, to encourage more international students to come to Australia in an effort to boost Australia’s $14 billion a year.
Education minister Christopher Pyne says the former Labor government went too far in tightening the student visa regime after apparent immigration rorting.
It wasn’t necessary to burn the village in order to save it…the (Labor) government went too far in the dead hand of regulation and cutting off the capacity fro international students to stay for post study work and apply for permanent residency if that was their wish. We want to restore the balance to the sensible centre.
The Labor government narrowed access to permanent residency for international students in 2010 after it became clear that thousands of students were enrolling in coursers such as hair dressing and cookery because these were skills supposedly in short supply that offered a way to stay in Australia.
After a review in 2011, following a marked downturn in international enrolments, Labor introduced “streamlined visa” arrangements for students studying at universities and provided post study work rights. It’s been a continuing source of contention that a promised extension of the streamlined arrangements to the VET sector is yet to occur.
Pyne says he will work closely with immigration minister Scott Morrison to bring about clearer and more appropriate rules around visas and work rights.