Breaking the link between the Australian Student Visa and Permanent Residence

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Breaking the link between Studying in Australia and Perminant ResidenceI read a very interesting letter printed in the Sydney Morning Herald this morning

Within the letter a chap by the name of Michael Jones writes about the strong link between overseas students studying in Australia and perminant Australian residency. He also points out that the $16 billion education industry, our third largest export earner, is largely about selling visas, not education. Very strong words indeed!

Now the thing is… Does he have a point?

I think for starters it’s fair to say that there is indeed a very strong link. Afterall, anyone applying for permanent residency under the skilled migration program needs to show acceptable qualifications and 12 months’ recent, full-time, skilled employment. On the other hand, those with an ‘Australian qualification’ can, after only two years’ study in Australia, qualify for a permanent visa without any work experience, or any intention to work in their field of study.

Overseas, agents for the “education providers” spruik their wares with scant regard for the education needs of potential students. Education is not what they sell. They openly advertise their products as paths to permanent residence.

I am sure this is behind a lot of the anger and frustration of the students recently hitting the global headlines due to their protests here in Australia. They are mostly decent young men and women, in a strange land, away from direct parental control for the first time, and with an enormous weight of family expectations. The immigration rules require them to attend 80 per cent of classes and not to work more than 20 hours a week, or risk losing their visa – a catastrophic outcome for most of them.

Forced to spend so much time in boring, meaningless classes, yet needing to work to supplement their allowances and meet the high cost of living in Australia, scared by stories of colleges going bust or agents failing to lodge paperwork for visa applications, they have much more to worry about than being mugged

Australia should have an education export industry. Our education is world class, and there are plenty of buyers. If we want to sell visas as well, the government should make that decision openly, and the money should improve education for Australians rather than line the pockets of agents and purpose-built “education providers”. Just keep the two separate.

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I worked for an international school that closed down. The majority of the students were there only to get their PR they weren’t really interested in career in the courses they were studying. The majority of students were from India & China. Most of them were rude, lied, cheated, argumentative in particular the Indian students. I am sorry but basically they were peasants from India. Who will never be of any value to Australia we have enough of our own who are of no value. I am have no sympathy they brought it on themselves by not playing by the… Read more »


G’day mate,
nice blog…really intersting :)
I’m just wondering… still students can get PR just by studying for 2 years and no work???? because I studied in Aussi for 2 years and didn’t apply for PR do you think I still have a chance now… after I went back home?? :s



I want to get my master degree in accounting in Australia then settle my life there to get my permanent visa ,Do you think ,that ‘s good idea?


Well as being an International student, I can tell what these students has to go threw, first listen all the lies from your agent back in your country, spend hips and hips amount of money on visa fees, college fees, insurance and what not, and after landing here struggle for months to even get a casual job, and on top of that deal with ever changing rules. In short it’s a never ending nightmare. I know most of people will never understand this.


yea iwill try that too , but i dont wanna stay and live in there , im graduated from a university in my country and wanna get a second degree from a better one in another area , but i dont have the enough money for the university and not have eilts point yet , so im gonna try with 6 month english course way , in that 6 month i will try to gain the required money for the universty for me and will try to find a sponsor And if everything goes well ,im planin gto turn my… Read more »

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