System Message:

Expert warns immigration department on visa failings

Expert warns immigration department on visa failings

A China expert has criticised the Department of Immigration and Citizenship due to the fact that rules haven't been announced by the department regarding post study work rights.

Iain Watt says that a boom of employment and productivity from former foreign students, working in Australia hasn't been felt yet due to the fact that there hasn't been an outline on what criteria would allow a person to stay in Australia and work.

Watt told The Australian newspaper that Chris Bowen's department is lagging and immigration agents don't have all the information they could have to advise students on their ability to work once they've finished studying.

"(But) we're not getting the students we could, because those rules aren't clear.

"At the moment, the post-study work visa gets mentioned by (immigration) agents, but it's not having the influence it will have once there's certainty," he said.

A spokesperson for Mr Bowen said that while the final details of the program are yet to be finalised, the broader scope of the plan is readily available to the public.

Watt also said that education facilities in Australia would receive a boost from short-term Chinese students who were truly keen on studying here.

Watt said that nearly all Chinese ELICOS (English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students) are on an academic pathway. He says as a general rule, without an academic program it's not possible to do a 20-week English course, as obtaining a visa is very difficult.

It comes as the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has called on Australia to allow easier access to visas for his people.

Peter O'Neill said that the current system of obtaining a visa before departing PNG for Australia is unfair, as Australians can obtain a visa once they arrive in the Pacific nation. He says that the arrangement Australia has with New Zealand, where visas are automatically granted upon entry, is a system which he would like to see adopted for PNG.

"New Zealand has never been a colony of Australia, whereas Papua New Guinea has. I think Australia ought to learn from such experiences," O'Neill said to Australia's Pacific Beats program.

O'Neill said that with travel restrictions, investment and links between Australia and Papua New Guinea are being impaired. But he feels that over time, this will change as the world realises that PNG is a safe country and as a result of its uniqueness, more and more Australians will travel there.

He says in regards to investment, if businesses take a chance with PNG, then businesses can reap the rewards of that faith.

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio