I recently posted an article entitled “The true impact of record number of overseas students on Small Business”.  In this article I quote Dr Bob Birrell, who heads the Australian Population Research Institute, citing his recent report in which he concludes:

“The main attraction to subcontinent students appears to be the access they gain to the Australian labour market, and to the possibility of obtaining a permanent resident visa”

Well, a chance conversation this week has highlighted the impact of Australian workers’ search for work post-graduation.  I learned something I wanted to share with you and which absolutely bears out Dr Birrell’s conclusion.

CASE STUDY:

Outlining a very much used loophole in our student visa programme which allows for overseas to re-apply for further tertiary courses to further extend their visa.

  • Female student from Singapore studying Pharmacy who was accompanied by her husband and son
  • Studied and completed the course (3 years)
  • In order to remain in the country she extended her visa and took up studies in Theology
  • When that course ended her husband applied to study and was accepted further extending the family’s ability to stay in the country
  • The wife took up her ‘right to work’ as the wife of an overseas student and took up employment as a Pharmacist

To add insult to injury to what is a blatantly  obvious ‘rorting of the system’, this family decided to build a brand new home as a way to avoid ‘Overseas Investor Tax’ which otherwise would have applied to any home purchase they made whilst on a student visa.

If this were only one example  maybe this could be overlooked, however, it is not just one. There are hundreds of cases similar to this.

The influx of people entering Australia on temporary visas and attending universities here is growing year on year, particularly in the overseas students’ category.

Pharmacies, the IT industry, and Security  are just some of the areas where Australian citizens find themselves competing with an overseas student population, who, for many, have their ongoing ability to stay in Australia at stake in their job search.

It leaves me wondering how accurate are our net migration figures that successive governments base their policy making decisions on?  Where is the incentive for universities to stop handing out repetitive visas for tertiary courses when this is an obvious ‘money spinner’ for them?

Plus the question remains, are we facing immigration ‘by stealth’ with both the government and other stakeholders looking the other away and ignoring the impact on our own job seekers?