New Oz residency changes could affect over 40,000 foreign students: Expert

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Melbourne, July 22 (ANI): Over 40,000 students who were expected to gain permanent residency in Australia, may now not qualify because of recent policy changes, a demographic researcher has estimated.

The Rudd Government has removed most vocational trades, including plumbing, welding and carpentry from its skills priority list, making it harder for international students with those qualifications to gain permanent residency.

Monash University demographer Bob Birrell says the changes, implemented this year, were not getting through to the international student community. He said enrolments in vocational training were on the rise and most students expected their qualifications would lead to permanent residency.

"The changes will make it much more difficult for those students to obtain permanent residency," news.com.au quoted Dr. Birrel as telling AAP.

But Dr Birrell said there remained other paths for students to gain permanent residency. Their applications would be processed if the Government's 2009-10 target of 180,000 skilled migration visas is not met.

They could also access a 458 visa, which would allow them to work for 18 months, during which time they could apply for permanent residency.

Dr Birrell said the Rudd Government needed to ensure that changes to the migration policy were crystal clear to overseas countries. (ANI)

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