Universities call for Australian migration reset

There are currently more than 100 visa subclasses, describing the system as not fit for purpose: chief executive Catriona Jackson
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Representative ImageReuters

CANBERRA (AUSTRALIA): Australian universities have called for a "hard reset" of the visa process for international graduates.

In a report submitted to a parliamentary committee reviewing the migration system, the peak body representing Australia's tertiary educators said the current complicated system was seeing the country fall behind the rest of the world, reports Xinhua news agency.

Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said there are currently more than 100 visa subclasses, describing the system as not fit for purpose.

Australian universities are among the world leaders in international student numbers.

However, according to Universities Australia, less than a third of international graduates use their post-study work permits and only 16 per cent become permanent residents.

"This is not surprising when our system has more barriers than gateways, including extended wait times, a lack of visibility around application status, and little certainty in general for prospective students and staff," Jackson said in the report.

"Meanwhile, our global competitors are increasing the number of international graduates in their migration mix in recognition of the significant contribution they make. Australia is falling behind."

The body made five recommendations for change in its report, including automatically granting temporary visas to all international students who graduate from Australian universities and upgrading reporting processes to provide applicants with up-to-date information on their visa status.

It also called for a priority system similar to the US Green Card to allow priority workers to receive fast-tracked permanent residency.

The comprehensive review, which was launched by Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil, is expected to hand down its final report in February 2023.

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