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Australia To Tighten Immigration Process

PTI 21 Jan 2010, 16:36:15 IST

In the wake of continuing attacks on Indian students, Australia is planning to make immigration rules tougher so that only genuine Indian students go there for higher studies and not the ones who look for "backdoor" entry for employment. 

Canberra has also commissioned an external review to see how to tighten the process of weeding out private educational institutions that do not measure up to quality levels.  "We want criteria for registration to make it tougher. We have introduced legislation in Parliament to do that," Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese told PTI.

He was answering questions on what Australia was doing to cut down on students going from India for non-specialised courses and end up doing unskilled work. 

Varghese said a very large number people go to Australia to train in institutions that are not run by government which fall short of quality and they were bring closed down. The external review will take care of this problem.  

He said there was a mismatch between the profile of many of the applicants and the courses they were opting for in Australia. 

Varghese said Australia has decided to implement visa rules "rigorously" to ensure that genuine students go there for study. 

"We are not tightening the visa rules. But we are rigorously implementing these rules. We want to ensure that the students going there are genuine students and their intention is genuine," he said.  The High Commission in India had rejected the visa applications of about 12 to 13 per cent of the students who wanted to study in private education providers in Australia.

"In some cases the intention of the students was not adequately demonstrated. In certain cases the documents were not authentic," he said. 

The High Commission took this step in sync with the decision of Department of Immigration and Citizenship to strengthen checks on student visa applications to stamp out fraud and ensure that students have the financial capacity to live and study in Australia. 

The envoy that many of the private education providers in Australia were not delivering what they were promising. The government has started a rapid audit to ensure that the private education providers deliver quality education. PTI