Petition launched to extend Australian Post Study Work Stream visa to all graduates

A migration agent has launched a petition urging Australia to make the new Post Study Work Stream visa available to all graduates – regardless of when they applied for their student visa. Diane Leow reports.

Photo: greenforall

An Australian migration agent has launched a petition urging the government to make the Post Study Work Stream visa available to all students, regardless of when they applied for their first visa.

The Post Study Work Stream visa (PWSTV) was introduced under the recommendation of the Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program (Knight Review) to allow eligible graduates to stay and work in Australia for certain lengths of time, depending on their qualifications.

Currently, students are only eligible for the PWSTV  if they applied for their first student visa after November 5, 2011.

Acacia Immigration Australia CEO Mark Webster says the rule is “unfair”.

“Basically it’s not your fault that you applied for a student visa earlier than somebody else,” he says.

As a result of the changes, Mr Webster estimates 100,000 international students will be unable to extend their stay in Australia and find employment.

He says businesses that usually employ international students will be adversely affected.

Acacia’s petition has gained interest among international students, universities, and an education agent, attracting about 300 signatures so far.

But Mr Webster hopes to get at least 5000 signatures by the end of February.

“If we can get the 5000, I think we’ve got a good chance of changing this,” he says.

Do you think it's fair the Post Study Work Stream visa is only available to those who applied for their student visas after November 5, 2011?

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A spokeswoman for the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen says the government knows about the petition and “will consider it after it has been submitted.”

She says the Post Study Work Stream is only available to graduates who applied for their first student visa after the genuine temporary entrant requirement (GTE) was implemented so as to “ensure the integrity of the student visa program”.

“Students who applied for their first student visa before 5 November 2011 may still be eligible for work visas, such as the temporary graduate visa (subclass 485) in the graduate work stream or the standard business sponsorship visa (subclass 457) if they have an employer who is willing to sponsor them,” the spokeswoman says

The cost of the provisional visa application has also increased from $315 to $1250.

Mr Webster says in his 12 years of working in the immigration industry, he has only seen visas application fees increase in the vicinity of three to five per cent.

A spokeswoman for  Minister Bowen has defended the fee increase.

“The Government has made a targeted increase in the cost of visas where there are high levels of demand as part of a user pays system,” she says.

More information about the new Post Study Work Stream arrangements can be found here.

There are 2 comments

  1. KB

    My own skilled graduate visa (485) is coming to an end in Dec 2013. I have come from India in mid-2009, completed 2 yrs Masters in HR from Melbourne and kept doing temporary, casual and contractual work for 2 yrs after finishing study to gain local experience. But there is no permanent work available in my stream in big cities without 4-5 yrs of Australian experience (esp. not at HR Adviser level- my nominated occupation) and certainly not without residency. Being in early 30s and HR Adviser being taken off SOL to remain only in state lists – I couldn’t make enough points to get PR – and my Indian HR experience wasn’t recognisedby Vetasses as it was before my Masters – so did not fulfil post-qualification requirement to get full skills assessment to gain syate nomination. Anyways, I collected enough funds for 4-5 months and came to Perth in early 2013-as HR is in demand here. But there were job losses and recession hit all major industries, still I managed to get 6-7 good interviews and finally landed a job as HR Officer within a government department on a 1 yr contract. Irony is my job began in early August 2013 and visa’s going to end in December same year. Not only is the length of my current graduate visa falling short of allowing me to complete the 1 year Australian experience that will get me final skills assessment from Vetasses, but it also does not consider the tough job climate and recession affecting employment options for new graduates like me. And on top of that there is now a special bonus to new graduates (holding student visas on or after 5 Nov 2011) by extension of their Graduate visas to 2 yrs. Why only them? Aren’t people like me also deserving this opportunity to gain work experience? It looks like a new strategy to indirectly attract more new international students to study in Australia as enrolments have been affected by bad press and Aussie dollar performing at par and just below US $ diverting students to choose US universities instead of Australia. So So very unfair !!!!!!!!!!!

    1. ravindra

      hi sir iam an average student and i want to study in aus and want post study work visa can we work at the time of psw and what are the requirements for psw

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