Audit finds flaws in tough visa regime

AUSTRALIA’S tough system of automatic visa cancellation for overseas students who break the rules was in legal working order for just five months between 2001 and 2009.
A series of technical legal challenges meant that about 18,800 student visa cancellations were ruled invalid and more court challenges are likely, federal auditors say. In a report on student visas, the Australian National Audit Office urges a review of the visa cancellation regime and of the 20-hour a week work limit for overseas students.

The auditors also criticise a lack of high-level co-ordination between the immigration and education bureaucrats jointly responsible for overseas students.

However, it is unclear whether this would have made any difference to the handling of policy changes, which has proven so harmful to the education export industry.

The audit report points out that stricter rules for skilled migration and student visas emerged from “separate forums attached to cabinet processes”.

1 July 2011 – Points Test for Certain Skilled Migration Visas

The points test is a mechanism used to help select skilled migrants who offer the best in terms of economic benefit to Australia. The points test creates a selection process that is transparent and objective, awarding points to the skills and attributes considered to be in need in Australia. The 1 July 2011 points test is designed to select the best and brightest skilled migrants who will make the optimum economic contribution to Australia. It does not give undue weight to any one factor and recognises a broader range of skills and attributes