GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of External Affairs
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 21
TO BE ANSWERED ON 15.11.2007
GSM Visa Rules of Australia.
SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:-
(a) whether it is a fact that due to General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa rules in Australia that came into effect from 1st September, 2007, future of thousands of overseas Indian students enrolled in various Australian Universities has become uncertain as they would not be able to get permanent residence on completion of their existing courses;
(b) if so, whether Government have taken up matter with Australia to impress upon them and ensure that new Visa rules do not become operative retrospectively;
(c) if so, the reaction of Government of Australia in the matter; and
(d) if not, the reasons therefor?
THE MINISTER OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
(SHRI PRANAB MUKHERJEE)
(a) The General Skilled Migration Programme of Australia was reformed w.e.f. September 1, 2007. The key change in the rules was that onshore applicants for general skilled migration would be required to demonstrate skilled work experience for the relevant period specified by the migration regulations. Graduates from all countries including India, will be able to apply for temporary work visa for a period stipulated under the rules to gain the relevant work experience, after which they may apply for permanent skilled migration. When applying for permanent skilled migration, they will need to demonstrate a higher level of English proficiency than that required earlier.
(c) & (d) Do not arise.