PM eyes plan to encourage international students to study at regional unis

PM eyes plan to encourage international students to study at regional unis

The Prime Minister says moving students could ease overcrowding in major capital cities.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is considering a plan to encourage international students to move to regional centres, which could ease population growth in Sydney and Melbourne.

“In the north, they want more population, In Adelaide they want more population.” Mr Morrison said.

“But I can tell you in the outer suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne, they don’t so it’s about how you manage population and there are plenty of levers for how you do that.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there were more than 786 thousand international student enrolments in 2017, but less than four per cent of those were in regional areas.

A move to make those universities more enticing is being welcomed by regional institutions.

“[Students] interact a lot more with the people in the community here [Armidale] so they get to have a more true Australian experience,” University of New England vice-chancellor, Annabelle Duncan, told SBS News.

“The common language between all the international students and the domestic students is English so they practice their English a lot more.” Ms Duncan said.

But the body representing international students is worried they may not have the necessary facilities to make it an enticing option and the plan could have an adverse effect.

“Regional institutions might not have all the courses that the city universities would have,” president of the Council of International Students Australia, Bijay Sapkota, told.

“There could be less opportunity for work integrated learning because big corporations would be established in the city area rather than the regional area.”

Australia’s immigration intake to remain at last year’s level: PM Scott Morrison

Australia’s immigration intake to remain at last year’s level: PM Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he expects Australia’s permanent annual immigration intake to remain at year’s level “just a little over 160,000″ against the planning level of 190,000.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australia’s annual immigration intake will continue to remain at last year’s level, which was nearly 28,000 less than the planning level of 190,000.

“Our current permanent immigration levels are running just a little over 160,000. That was the level of the permanent immigration that was running at the time of the conclusion of the Howard Government,” Mr Morrison told reporters.

“They used to be a bit higher than that in terms of what the permanent intake had been a few years ago and that has come down somewhat over the last year or so. And I expect it to remain at those levels,” he said responding to a question about NSW Premier Gladys Berejeklian’s call to slash the state’s overseas migration intake to John Howard-era levels.

Last year, Australia’s permanent immigration intake fell to below 163,000 – the lowest since 2007-08 under John Howard.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton who was responsible for the Immigration portfolio before Mr Morrison took the reins of the country from Malcolm Turnbull, attributed the decline in immigration to enhanced security checks.

Earlier this week, Immigration Minister, David Coleman indicated that his department would continue the approach adopted since last year.

“We did see last year, the impact the increased security process had,” Mr Coleman said in Melbourne.

“It is absolutely fundamental that we in no way absolutely compromise on security. We are not going to do that. We are going to be very careful.

Australia’s annual immigration planning levels have been consistent at 190,000 since 2011. The actual intake has been consistent with the planning levels since then for most of the time until 2016-17 when the intake was just over 183,000.

Last year’s figures showed a decline of over 21,000 in the number permanent visas issued compared to the previous year, primarily driven by a cut in skilled and family stream visas.

In 2017-18, the skilled stream visas saw a cut of over 12,000 and family stream visas were also cut by 15 per cent.

The continuing visa squeeze reflects in the number of invites issued by the Immigration Department to visa aspirants who have submitted their expression of interest to apply for a permanent visa.

Skilled migrants to spend ‘at least a few years’ in regional Australia under Morrison’s population plan

Skilled migrants to spend ‘at least a few years’ in regional Australia under Morrison’s population plan

New population minister Alan Tudge said up to 45 percent of permanent immigrants could be diverted to visas that force them to spend “at least a few years” in regional areas, or small states like South Australia

The Morrison government has promised visa reforms that will force a significant chunk of Australia’s annual intake of 190,000 permanent migrants to spend “at least a few years” in regional areas before they can move to a city like Sydney or Melbourne.

The move, advocated by the Nationals and key lobby groups like the Farmers’ Federation, is part of the government’s bid to tackle population growth in the country’s congested capitals while stimulating regional areas crying out for more labour.

Scott Morrison’s newly appointed “congestion-busting” minister for population and cities, Alan Tudge, announced the plan at a speech in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Existing regional visas only divert around 5,000 of the annual permanent intake, which is capped at 190,000 places.

The new scheme would be much more ambitious and could force nearly half of the migration stream to settle in regional areas and the smaller states.

Mr Tudge said the policy would not impact the 25 percent who come on employer-sponsored visas, where a specific company vouches for the migrant, or the roughly 30 percent who come on family reunion visas.

“But about 45 percent of our visas aren’t attached to a geographical location as such, and therefore there are those opportunities to provide those incentives and encouragements to reside elsewhere,” Mr Tudge said.

The visas would require migrants to live outside the major cities for “at least a few years”, he said, using a “combination of encouragement and some conditions”.

The government’s proposal relates to skilled visas, but Mr Tudge said there was an ongoing discussion about moving more of the humanitarian refugee intake to rural areas as well.

Enforcement questioned
The minister would not specify what punishments might apply to migrants who breach their conditions, or how long the conditions would be imposed.

“Nearly every visa has some conditions attached to it,” he said, flagging more detail in the coming “months”.

Migrants to be forced into regional Australia under federal government population plan

Migrants to be forced into regional Australia under federal government population plan

The Morrison Government has revisited a well-worn plan to force migrants to regional and rural centres to help ease congestion in capital cities as population growth outstrips infrastructure building.

Cities and Population Minister Alan Tudge revived the idea in his first major speech as Cities and Population Minister, revealing congestion cost $25 billion in 2017-18, and will rise to $40 billion a year by 2030.

But it’s also a policy that Scott Morrison dismissed out of hand in opposition.

“To hold out some false hope that this problem’s going to be solved because a Population Minister is going to fantastically move people around like has been done before in our history, is I think unfair to the Australian people to suggest that that is a realistic option, certainly in the short, or medium term,” Mr Morrison said in 2010.

“The government can talk to the cows come home about getting people into the regions and we would pursue policies similar to that but we cannot be unrealistic and disingenuous with the Australian people by suggesting that is a substitute for easing the population pressure on those in western Sydney and other parts of the country.

“It is just simply not telling the truth.”

Mr Morrison later tried to clarify those criticisms, saying what Labor proposed isn’t being contemplated by his government.

“The migration program is one thing,” he said.

“What I was referring to is migration in isolation being the solution to this issue. It is not.

“Migration is part of a suite of policies that deal with congestion in our cities.”

Still, Mr Tudge told the Menzies Institute travel in peak times in Sydney takes 65 percent longer than off-peak, and 55 percent, in Melbourne.

Australia’s population grew 3.75 million, nearly twice the previous decade, adding a city the size of Canberra every year.

The main factor, in Sydney and Melbourne, is net overseas migration, that accounted for 60 percent of national population growth over the last 10 years.

Temporary migration increased rapidly as well, rising about 70,000 a year.

“There are benefits of a larger, more diverse population,” Mr Tudge said.

A larger population means a stronger economy. With this comes greater opportunities for Australians.

“However, there are also challenges. The greatest challenge is the pressure it puts on our big cities in the form of congestion. In Sydney and Melbourne, and south-east Queensland.

“This is exacerbated by the fact that 75 percent of the population growth has been to our three largest population areas.”

According to statistics, 87 percent of all skilled migrants are going to Sydney and Melbourne, along with almost all the humanitarian intake.

Sending migrants to regional areas, and less populated states, is part of a four-part strategy being considered.

Those coming to Australia on family reunions visas wouldn’t be affected.

The government hasn’t yet decided where the migrants might be sent, or under what conditions.

“There are regional areas that simply cannot get people to do the work available.,” the minister said.

“Matching skills of new migrants with the skill shortages in rural and regional Australia will be the key to the success of this approach.”

Mr Tudge said a massive infrastructure program would also ease the squeeze in the major cities, after years of playing “catch up”, along with a high-speed rail network, and economic incentives for regional Australia.

While Labor once supported the policy, frontbencher Brendan O’Connor dismissed it as a “thought bubble” by a “thought bubble boy” prime minister, saying regional sponsored migration scheme processing times had blown out under the Liberals.

Mr O’Connor called for labour market testing, promising an independent body to look at where labour shortages might exist.

A pair of shoes costs Indian migrant Australian citizenship

A pair of shoes costs Indian migrant Australian citizenship

An Indian national has been refused Australian citizenship for not disclosing his court conviction over a stolen pair of shoes and possessing a credit card that was suspected to be stolen.
An Indian national has been denied Australian citizenship after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) found he deliberately hid information about his court conviction over a pair of shoes more than eight years ago.

35-year-old Mr Patel* did not disclose his court conviction in his March 2010 permanent residency application and subsequently in his citizenship application in July 2016.

While Mr Patel was granted a permanent visa in 2015, the Immigration Department discovered his February 2010 conviction by a Sydney court on charges of Larceny and goods in personal custody suspected being stolen and refused his citizenship application on character grounds.

According to the police record produced in the AAT, Mr Patel – then an international student – took a pair of shoes from a store without paying on 11th January 2010, and was stopped near the gates of the shopping centre while “walking very fast, almost running”.

Police also found a credit card in his possession that they suspected was stolen. While Mr Patel pleaded guilty to both the charges and he paid the fine, he insisted during the AAT hearing that his offending was not premeditated and that the credit card found on him belonged to his friend who had given it to him for safekeeping.

Inadvertent mistakes:

He told the AAT that he was “very sorry and embarrassed” for not disclosing his conviction in his citizenship application, saying since the offence had taken place six years before his filling out the citizenship application, it didn’t readily come to his mind.

He also attributed it to English being his second language and not realising that he wouldn’t get an opportunity to fix any mistakes in the application later.

“My situation was one of not paying sufficient concentrated attention to what I was doing and not attending to the exact wording of everything I had to read,” he told the AAT.

However, the AAT said Mr Patel had disclosed his conviction while registering his business just two months before filling out his citizenship application and discussed this with his business partner.

Explaining the error in his permanent residency application, he told the Tribunal that a migration agent had filled out his visa application and he may have answered ‘no’ to the character question. This was just a month after his court conviction. But he couldn’t produce any evidence of hiring a migration agent to act on his behalf.

The Tribunal heard that he attached a pre-dated police clearance statement which contained no offences, which it said it was “plainly dishonest”.

A deliberate pattern of dishonesty’:

Mr Patel said he has had an “unblemished” life before and after his “inadvertent” offending that he said was “by mistake and totally out of character”.

“I was daydreaming when I was in the shoe store as I was going overseas to India in a couple of days and the thought in my mind was to buy a pair of shoes for my nephew.”

He said he “unwittingly” stepped out of the store with shoes-priced “less than $20” in his hand while making a phone call to his nephew to know his shoe size.

Mr Patel told the Tribunal he was also under pressure to complete his assignments before going to India and that contributed to the confusion in communication with the store employee.

He also told the AAT that the credit card police found on him belonged to his friend who was travelling to India. He said he was not allowed to access his phone to see his friend’s phone number and that he couldn’t give an address for his friend as he had left his previous accommodation and would move to a new place on returning to Australia.

However, the AAT found his explanation was at variance with the police records.

AAT Member C Edwardes said in a written judgment delivered last month that Mr Patel’s non-disclosure of his convictions was a deliberate “pattern of dishonesty”.

“The Tribunal finds that [Mr Patel] changes his storyline often. This is particularly in relation to the circumstances which led to his convictions,” Member Edwardes said adding that his untrue explanations were reflective of “a pattern of dishonest behaviour”.

*Only his last name.

One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts wants migration more than halved

One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts wants migration more than halved

One Nation’s lead Senate candidate Malcolm Roberts believes Australia’s migrant intake should be radically slashed to just 70,000 per year.

The current migration program’s target figure was technically 190,000, although there were only 162,000 permanent visas approved in the 12 months ended June 30.

“I have done the research in detail but that’s what we’re going with, but I’m not making this a party issue and there are others who say – around 70,000, which is a zero net,” he told the LibertyFest conference in Brisbane on Saturday.

Tasked with debating “Immigration, how to draw the line”, Mr Roberts said he wanted immigration, not “colonisation”.

Mr Roberts – who was born in India to a Welsh father and Australian mother – said he was “not an immigrant”.

He then immediately followed that statement with: “Although I am an immigrant because the Australian citizenship standards have changed so much in the last 140 years.”

“So I share with you [the other speaker on stage, Satya Marar] some immigrant status in that I was born overseas but my mother was Australian, but I had to become an Australian at the age of 19, so it’s somewhat confusing,” Mr Roberts said.

Last year, the High Court found Mr Roberts was a citizen of the United Kingdom by descent at the time of his nomination.

He was forced out of Parliament due to section 44 of the constitution which effectively excludes dual citizens from being federal politicians.

Mr Roberts said the government should be “fixed” before anything else.

“Don’t fiddle with immigration until that’s fixed, fix up government, get back to our constitution and then start wondering about some of the other issues because the key to western civilisation, the key to society is freedom, and the key to our society is at stake right now,” he said.

However, Mr Roberts said immigration was about “who we sit down next to on the train, who we can sit down next to on an aeroplane”.

“We have to decide who comes in here, that’s our government, we use values-based immigration, so it’s not about just economics, because the hip pocket is appealed to by many governments,” he said.

In her maiden 1996 speech, One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson argued most Australians wanted the country’s immigration policy to be radically reviewed as the nation was in danger of being “swamped by Asians”.

She updated her rhetoric to “swamped by Muslims” during her first speech in 2016.

Mr Roberts also said taxation had become a monster which was destroying Australia.

“It is the most destructive system in this country,” he said.

Mr Roberts will vie to return to the Senate at the next federal election.

The two-day LibertyFest conference hosted an eclectic group of speakers and attendees, including LNP senators, a sex therapist, Queensland’s chief entrepreneur, free speech advocates and members of right-wing think tanks.

New pathway for permanent residency rolled out for international students

New pathway for permanent residency rolled out for international students

International students will need a full-time job offer and ‘proficient English’ to be eligible under this graduate stream.

Western Australia has rolled out a new pathway to permanent residency for international students.

The new Graduate Occupation List (GOL) was released on Monday.

International students who have studied at least two years in Western Australia at a Western Australian University, have an available occupation on the new Graduate occupation list, have a full-time job offer for more than twelve months and can prove ‘proficient English’ will be eligible under the state government’s graduate stream.

This new graduate stream is available for Western Australian State nomination, namely the Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190); or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 489).

“Not all international students have access to all occupations”
While Masters and PhD graduates will have access to all occupations on the Graduate occupation list, Bachelor and higher degree graduates will only be able to access some of the occupations on the Graduate occupation list.

The university qualification in Western Australia does not need to determine the occupation one wishes to nominate from the Graduate occupation list for State nomination, the announcement says.

“International students must meet English requirements”
All applicants applying through the graduate stream must demonstrate a ‘Proficient’ level of English unless holding a passport from the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, Canada and New Zealand.

“Work experience requirements waived for Masters and PhD degree holders”
Under the graduate stream, the work experience requirement is waived for students who hold a Western Australian PhD or Masters Degree.

However Bachelor and other higher degree graduates will need to give evidence of work experience, which could either be at least one year of Australian work experience in the nominated (or closely related) occupation over the last 10 years or at least three years of overseas work experience in the nominated (or closely related) occupation over the last 10 years.

“Provide a contract of employment”
All applicants must have a contract of employment for full-time employment for at least 12 months in Western Australia in the nominated (or closely related ) occupation.

Students intending to apply for a Subclass 489 visa must provide a contract of employment located in a regional area of Western Australia.

“Demonstrate sufficient funds”
International students will need to demonstrate sufficient funds to settle depending on how many family members are intending to migrate, with a minimum of AUD 20,000 for a single person.

Check the Graduate Occupation List below:
https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/hindi/en/article/2018/09/27/new-pathway-permanent-residency-rolled-out-international-students

Australia’s new immigration minister reveals visa priority

Australia’s new immigration minister reveals visa priority

David Coleman said his priority is to get migrants to struggling regional communities. But, he hasn’t forgotten about controversial plans to toughen citizenship requirements.

Australia’s new Immigration Minister David Coleman has flagged a revamp of regional visas, saying some towns are begging for migrants.

“That’s something I’m looking at very closely at the moment,” Mr Coleman told on Wednesday.

“There are a number of different regional visa classes at the moment and one of the things I’m assessing is the effectiveness of each of those programs and potential ways of improving those.”

Currently, there are several visas available to migrants to fills skills shortages in rural and regional Australia.

Towns including Warrnambool in Victoria, the Goldfields region of Western Australia and the entire state of South Australia are asking for thousands of migrants, according to Mr Coleman.

“There are lots of examples at the moment of regions that are seeking additional immigration to fulfil economic needs,” he said.

“We have quite a few regional gaps in employment right now.”

According to figures compiled by the Department of Home Affairs, 10,918 places were awarded under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme in the 2016-17 financial year.

Along with the 1,670 Skilled Regional visas, they formed about 10 per cent of permanent migration visas.

The former Assistant Finance Minister holds the marginal Sydney seat of Banks and was elevated to the outer ministry after the Liberal leadership spill last month.

The 44-year-old MP served as an assistant finance minister in the Turnbull Government and was first elected to the House of Representatives for Banks, New South Wales, in 2013.

The immigration portfolio was separated from Peter Dutton’s Home Affairs ministry and given to Mr Coleman, as well as the Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs ministries.

“Immigration has been so fundamental to our success as a country,” he said.

“The history of our nation is one of immigration because, apart from Indigenous Australians, we’re all immigrants.”

Fourty-four per cent of his electorate is overseas-born, with people of Chinese ancestry being the largest migrant group.

On the issue of Australian citizenship, the minister would not go into specifics about the government reviving plans to change the requirements to become a citizen.

The controversial plans to introduce a tougher English language test, increase residency requirements and requiring applicants to sign an ‘Australian Values statement’ were quashed by the Senate late last year.

While he didn’t go into detail about English language requirements, Mr Coleman reiterated the importance of learning English.

“Having some English is obviously a good thing in Australian life,” he said.

“The more English people are able to speak, the more they can contribute in Australian life.”

Mr Coleman said the government was “in consultations” about re-introducing elements of the legislation.

 

 

Foreign students put off by high costs

Foreign students put off by high costs

High university fees and the hefty cost of living in Australia were the reason almost half a survey group of would-be international students decided not to come to the country.

QS Enrolment Solutions, a global company that surveys student opinions, said of more than 3000 international students who wanted to come to Australia in 2017 but ended up not doing so, more than half said they they couldn’t afford the fees.

 

For more info click on this link below :

https://www.afr.com/news/policy/education/foreign-students-put-off-by-high-costs-20180909-h154io

New visa could keep migrants in regional Australia

The Turnbull government was already working on visas to force migrants to stay in the bush for longer, but Scott Morrison may put his own twist on the plan

The Morrison government is expected to forge ahead with new skilled and family visas that force migrants to spend years in regional areas before they can move to a city like Sydney or Melbourne.

The previous Turnbull government had long flagged new visas to “bind” migrants to the regions, with data from the Home Affairs department suggesting one in 10 who come under existing rural visas then move to a city within 18 months.

New prime minister Scott Morrison is yet to comment on the visas, but his recent cabinet reshuffle suggests the policy could be tweaked or integrated in a broader population policy.

The minister working on the visas was then-multiculturalism minister Alan Tudge, who has now been appointed to the new position of minister for cities and population in the reshaped Morrison cabinet.

The Australian reported a proposal for visas that locked migrants into the regions for five years was due to go to cabinet before the Liberal leadership spill, but is yet to be considered by the new team.

Mr Tudge’s office would not comment on the matter.

David Coleman has been appointed the new minister for immigration. His office told SBS News he was not yet in a position to comment on the policy either, having only just been sworn in.

The move takes immigration policy out of the responsibilities of Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton, with the exception of the Border Force, and could see a shift in emphasis.

Business lobby Ai Group said it hoped immigration would again be seen as an “economic portfolio”.

The business community reacted with anger when the Turnbull government revealed permanent migration – made up of skilled and family visas – had fallen to its lowest rate in 10 years.

James Pearson, head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the regions were “paying the price” for a failure of infrastructure planning in the capital cities.

Australia already has a number of visa programs designed to bring migrants to the bush, including the Skilled Regional (887) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (187).

But the schemes bring in relatively few migrants, despite the acute population decline and skills shortages in some regional areas.

More than 90 per cent of permanent arrivals choose to settle in the big cities on Australia’s east coast.
Moreover, there is little employers can do to stop migrants leaving for a city once their permanent residency has been granted.

In the visa world, the “regions” normally include smaller cities like Adelaide, Darwin, Canberra and Hobart. The government reclassified Perth as a metropolis in November last year.

Questions remain over how the government can force migrants to stay in the regions without running into legal disputes by restricting freedom of movement.

Labor frontbencher Richard Marles questioned how the visas would function in practice.

“I’m not sure that mandating new immigrants living in regional Australia is going to work,” Mr Marles told .

“I’m not actually sure there is the power to put that in place, to actually mandate that they do live there,” he said.

“So I am a little worried about the particular prescription they are putting in place to bring this about.”