While the Australian government has relaxed visa regulations and offered better post-study work rights for international students, Australian immigration authorities have nevertheless been keeping an eye on overseas students misusing these opportunities. With over 15,000 foreign student visas cancelled in the past year for breaching visa conditions, it’s a wake call for all international students, especially Indians!
A recent report said that one in every six international students in Australia is Indian, and Indian students have been hit the hardest. About 3,624 students are facing deportation for flunking subjects or missing classes and a further 2,235 visas were cancelled on students who quit their original courses and were working illegally. The report also said that 8,309 student visa holders became “unlawful” in the past year because their student visa expired and they did not apply for a new one, such as a bridging visa.In some cases, foreigners were not genuine students and used the work rights of a student visa as a back door to higher wages and working conditions in Australia.
Exploiting the rights given to us by a country, either our own or one that we are visiting, is not only illegal but also unethical. Though the Australian government has in general relaxed visa regulations, it has also introduced a new element into the eligibility criteria for a student visa (with effect from November 2011), to help them assess whether the applicant is a genuine temporary entrant. And as always, some regulations apply to check if the visa applicant is a genuine student. A genuine student is someone who intends to travel to Australia on a temporary basis for the purpose of studying full-time to complete a registered course at an Australian education provider.
In this context, all Indian students going to Australia to study need to understand the circumstances in which a visa can be cancelled and the consequences of such a cancellation.The power to cancel a visa arises from:
- cancellation where visa granted on basis of incorrect information or false document (this applies to all visas)
- cancellation for failure to comply with conditions and other grounds
- cancellation of business skills visas
- cancellation on character or certain other public interest grounds
- Australian Immigration Law Offences
For more details, visit the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.
Do’s and don’ts:
- If you need to work during study in Australia, you don’t require a work permit, and can work upto 20 hours during term time, unlimited in holidays. Avoid exceeding the prescribed number of hours.
- Under the new rules, University graduates will have the right to work in Australia for two years after they graduate. Do not misuse these rights for illegal purposes.
- Most importantly, you have been granted a student visa because you expressed genuine interest to study further. Respect this, and ensure you attend classes regularly and maintain good grades throughout college.
- Post education employment in Australia assists you to recover most of your education costs, repay educational loans, and get valuable international work experience. Make the best use of the rights given to you as an overseas student without exploiting them.
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