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Australia: New post-study work visa for international students

master-degree1-300x275The Australian Government has announced a plan to introduce new post-study work visas for international students who complete university degrees in Australia.

The new visas will enable international graduates to gain practical work experience in Australia after they graduate and enhance their overall international study experience.

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, said that international students are “increasingly looking to augment their studies with graduate work experience and this further post-study work visa option will offer university students a more complete study experience in Australia”.

Counsel of International Students Australia President Arfa Noor said “It is very encouraging to see that some of the key areas of concern have been addressed and this is good news for a lot of students and their families, as well as the education industry.”

“The work experience will add value to Australian qualifications and will certainly be an added incentive for students to choose Australia as a destination for further studies and professional development.”

About the new post-study work visa:

  • It is proposed that graduates of bachelor and masters by coursework degrees will be able to apply for a two-year work visa at the completion of their degree, while masters by research and PhD graduates will be able to apply for a four-year work visa.
  • As a minimum, applicants need to have completed a bachelor degree at an Australian university six months before applying for the visa.
  • Students who complete their degree at a non-university institute (such as a private higher education provider or a TAFE institute) will not beeligible.
  • The visa has been introduced in response to the Knight Review, which delivered 41 recommendations to the federal government on how to enhance Australia’s student visa program.
  • The program is expected to be introduced in 2013.
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