Capping and culling the migration queue

Legislation before parliament will give the immigration minister new power to “terminate” certain classes of visa application, reports Peter Mares

03 June 2010



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IMMIGRATION Minister Chris Evans might soon have the power to force tens of thousands of international student graduates to leave Australia with just twenty-eight days’ notice. A bill quietly introduced into parliament late last month would give the minister sweeping powers to “terminate” applications for permanent residency, potentially enabling him to clear a massive backlog of applications from former students at the stroke of a pen. Tens of thousands of people seeking to come to Australia from overseas could also find their applications suddenly rendered null and void, despite the fact that they have invested thousands of dollars in the dream of moving to Australia and already waited years in a migration queue.

Although it hasn’t been reported elsewhere, news of the proposed amendment has spread rapidly through international student networks and online migration forums, sparking panic, outrage and consternation. On 26 May the bill was referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, which received dozens of submissions from concerned applicants within a week of its inquiry’s commencing. Most were from foreign student graduates on bridging visas, and their passionate, if at times ungrammatical, pleas provide an insight into the level of anxiety the proposed reforms are generating.

One of them, a Sydney-based former cookery student, Jewel Mahmud, writes that she has “no words” to express the “misery” the changes could bring for her and other overseas students working hard “to survive in this expensive city.” International students are allowed to work twenty hours per week, but she says that she arrived in Australia four years ago to find her options were limited. “So i started with toilet wash then car wash then dish wash. I couldnt sleep for years. I was neglected and verbally abused almost every single day of my work life.” Ms Mahmud says her ambition is to become a chef and maybe open her own restaurant but she fears the visa-capping bill will dash her hopes and lay waste the time, energy and money she has invested in her studies: “I have no idea why such a wellfare country doing this to me but i know it sure will destroy my life and thousands of others.”

The Migration Amendment (Visa Capping) Bill 2010 would enable the minister to cap the number of visas issued in a given year to applicants with “specified characteristics.” The minister might, for example, choose to cap the number of visas granted to “hairdressers” or “cooks.” Once the designated annual cap is reached – and the cap could conceivably be set at zero – all outstanding visa applications with the same characteristics will be terminated. In effect, those applications will be treated as if they had never been made. The government will refund the pre-paid visa application charge but applicants will still be out of pocket for associated costs, including the fees paid for migration advice, health checks, language tests, skills assessment and recognition of qualifications.

Unlike a visa refusal, a visa termination cannot be challenged before the Migration Review Tribunal or any court – simply because, technically, the minister will not have made any decision, and without a decision there is nothing to review or contest. Capping and terminating will also impose an effective freeze on further visa applications by migrants who share the same “specified characteristics,” at least until the commencement of a new financial year.

Introducing the bill in the House of Representatives, the parliamentary secretary for multicultural affairs, Laurie Ferguson, said it would give the minister “greater power to effectively manage the migration program” by dealing with the large number of “valid applications” for skilled migration made by people “nominating occupations that are not in demand.” He said that the general skilled migration program is “dominated” by applications from “a limited number of occupations,” making it “difficult for the program to deliver the broad range of skills needed in the Australian labour market and the Australian economy.”

Mr Ferguson singled out cooks and hairdressers for particular attention, noting that the department has 17,594 valid applications from applicants with these skills on its books. These are among the 147,000 applicants for general skilled migration already waiting on a visa decision. Given that there are only 61,500 places set aside for general skilled migration in the next budget year, this backlog represents a prospective supply of more than two years’ worth of migrants for that migration stream. (Another 44,150 places are reserved for migrants nominated by employers.)

More than a quarter of the migrants waiting in the general skilled pipeline – 38,990 applicants as of 31 March – are former international students who have graduated from Australian universities and colleges. Many have already been waiting in the queue for more than two years; most are living in Australia on bridging visas, which allow them to work full time while their applications for permanent residency are pending. But if the minister were to cap and terminate their applications for permanent residency then the associated bridging visas would also “cease to be in effect” after 28 days. In practice this means that former foreign students would have four weeks to wind up their affairs and leave Australia.

Jewel Mahmud is only one of the former students to express great concern about the legislation. A Chinese man (name withheld) writes that he and his wife feel “cheated and disappointed” by the proposed changes. He says the visa-capping bill is “really unfair” since the changes will “affect existing applications that are already in the final stage of immigration.” Resident in Australia since 2006, the couple feel like their lives are on hold: “We have been supporting the Oz economy (tax, tuition, we also transferred 200k+ Australian dollar to Australia Commonwealth Bank. We plan to buy a house and really want to have baby, but it is just a dream without PR, we will be forced to sell house and leave within 28 days once our application ceased).” He writes that they are “shocked” by the proposed amendments and fear their visa applications “will be axed,” rendering all the money and time they have invested in Australia fruitless.

This writer also points out that because both he and his wife were born under China’s one-child policy, they are their respective parents’ “only kids.” Yet since lodging applications for permanent residency eighteen months ago they have been unable to return home to visit their parents for fear that their applications for permanent residency will be cancelled. Bridging visas granted to on-shore applicants for permanent residency do not allow them to travel outside Australia without “substantial reasons” such as death or serious illness of a close relative. If applicants leave Australia without explicit permission then their application for permanent residency will lapse.

Alison Reynolds wrote to the Senate committee about the situation of her husband, Mauricio Loconte, “a qualified and experienced mechanical engineer from Brazil.” After reading immigration department advice that Australian qualifications were preferred to overseas qualifications, Mauricio paid more than $20,000 to study in Australia. After he completing his course the couple applied for permanent residency and were “told to expect an outcome in 4–6 months.” Two years later they are still waiting.

“Mauricio has been in continuous employment as a motor mechanic,” writes Ms Reynolds. “He is in high demand, moves periodically to a slightly better position and currently works at Ford’s headquarters. His mechanical engineering degree was recognised by Engineers Australia and Ford increased his salary in recognition of this. We followed all the rules. Mauricio was, we believed, wanted by Australia for his skills and experience in a shortage area. We have been married 5 years and are waiting for an outcome so that we can start a family. However we both turned 35 this year, so time is running out. Led on by DIAC [Department of Immigration and Citizenship] literature, we have invested a considerable amount of time and money. Even now, the literature suggests motor mechanics are in demand.”

THE SENATE committee has very little time to consider the ramifications of the visa-capping bill. Submissions to its inquiry close this Friday, 4 June, and the committee is due to hand down its report just eleven days later, on the same day that the Senate resumes for the final seven sitting days of the winter session. While the Greens have some concerns about the bill, it seems unlikely that it will be blocked by the Coalition, which means it could pass into law before parliament is prorogued for a federal election.

Whether Senator Evans will use the new powers immediately to cap and terminate the permanent residency applications of certain groups of foreign graduates living in Australia on bridging visas is another question. There may be some elements in federal Labor Machiavellian enough to make a pre-election show of expelling unwanted cooks and hairdressers while reminding voters all the while that it was Howard-era policies that brought them to the country in the first place. Such a move might provide a welcome distraction from the continued arrival of asylum seekers by boat and give Labor an opportunity to boost its border control credentials on a different front.

But it could also have unforseen consequences. As another unnamed submission writer warns the Senate committee, a sudden move by government to cap visa applications and send home student graduates could create a new problem of “illegal immigrants” because the “majority of the applicants will not be returning to their country and will stay illegally in Australia.” Migration agent Mark Webster also predicts that a mass termination of onshore visa applications would result in the immigration department being swamped with desperate but dubious applications for refugee status or spousal visas as student graduates scramble to find other ways to extend their stay in Australia. No doubt there would be protests in Australia’s major cities too, as we saw in response to attacks on Indian students.

Mr Webster predicts that Senator Evans is more likely to exercise his new visa-capping powers to cull the number of overseas applications stuck in the migration processing queue. He will be able to do this by identifying and capping certain groups of “off-shore” applicants with specific skills. Once the annual cap is reached all other applications in the pipeline can be terminated. There will be understandable howls of protest from the migrants potentially affected – and perhaps even some diplomatic fallout from foreign governments – but it is easier to take harsh measures against people who are resident in another country than to target those who are resident in your own.

Under the Migration Act the minister already has the power to cap and cull entire visa classes or subclasses, but this is a very blunt instrument that affects all applicants indiscriminately. The proposed new measures would enable the minister to reach inside those visa classifications to identify, cap and terminate more narrowly defined groups. As Laurie Ferguson told parliament, the bill would enable the minister to restrict classes of applicants, rather than classes of visa.

The explanatory memorandum to the bill says the amendments are intended to address the “noticeable skew” in applications for general skilled migration towards certain occupations. But it also makes clear that the mechanism “could apply to all visa classes, subclasses or streams within a subclass,” providing government “with a tool for the targeted management of all aspects of the migration program… as the need arises.” Mark Webster suggests that the capping and terminating of visa applications could also be used in the family migration program, which suffered a cut of 5750 places in the May budget. A very large number of pending applications has built up within the family stream, especially for the limited number of parental visas granted each year, which enable adult children to bring parents to join them in Australia. Potentially, the government could also use the new provisions to limit the number of temporary visas granted in any given year to international students, working holiday-makers or temporary workers brought in by employers under the 457-visa scheme. These schemes are currently not subject to any overall cap or quota.

Protection visas are the only category specifically exempted from capping and culling in the proposed amendments, since such a cap would potentially put Australia in breach of its obligations under the refugee convention. But in all other respects the bill appears to present the minister with very broad powers. Laurie Ferguson told the House that the characteristics of visas that may be capped and terminated will be “objective” and cited such things as the occupation of the applicant or the date of the application. Yet there appears to be nothing in the bill that would prevent visas being capped and terminated on the basis of nationality – nothing to prevent the Australian government deciding to limit the number of visas granted in any one year to nationals of India or China, for example. This is not to suggest that this is the intention, but once the laws and powers are in place there is no telling what future ministers might do with them.

At one level the proposed Migration Act amendments can be seen as another step by the Rudd government towards cleaning up the cooks-and-hairdressers mess created when John Howard’s government linked study in Australia to permanent residency, fostering a boom in short-term vocational courses often designed to deliver residency rather than skills. At another level, the bill is the latest step in Senator Evans’s fundamental revamp of skilled migration, which he wants to shift from a “supply driven” to a “demand driven” program. Rather than a system in which skilled migrants independently put up their hands to apply to come to Australia, the minister is building a system that relies much more heavily on employers identifying, nominating and sponsoring the particular skilled migrants they need.

To this end, general skilled migration has been cut from about 75,000 places in 2007 to 61,500 places in 2011, while employer-nominated skilled migration has been sharply increased from 16,500 to more than 44,000 places over the same period. Other measures in this direction have been the introduction of new visa-processing priorities and the scrapping of the expansive Migration Occupations in Demand List and its replacement with the new, more carefully targeted Skilled Occupations List. Senator Evans’s hope is that collectively these measures will generate a migrant intake more in keeping with the long-term needs of the Australian economy, while allowing other skills gaps – particularly in trades – to be filled through the training of local workers. If the revamped system once again delivers too many applicants of a particular type then the proposed new visa-capping powers will enable the minister to intervene and set things right.

The minister’s aims are understandable, but the measures proposed in this new bill could cause considerable anguish and have unforseen consequences. It would be alarming indeed if the bill should open the way for a future immigration minister to cap and terminate visa applications because they were lodged by nationals of a particular country. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the amendments deserve more rigorous scrutiny than is possible in a three-week inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee – and more thoughtful public debate than is likely in the fevered lead-up to a federal election. •

After this story was published by Inside Story, Peter Mares spoke to Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans on The National Interest on ABC Radio National about the issues involved. Senator Evans says that some of the reporting on the Migration Amendment (Visa Capping) Bill 2010 is “hysterical and inflammatory” and said that this article is adding to that hysteria. He said that he has made it very clear that transitional arrangements are in place to provide pathways for foreign students and foreign student graduates who are already in Australia to move towards permanent residency. He also said the powers created under the bill would be used “very, very rarely” where there was a need to manage the migration program to deal with a backlog of applicants for permanent residency who had no chance of success. He disputed the view that the new powers proposed in the bill would enable him or a future immigration minister to cap and terminate visas on the basis of nationality, saying this would “run foul” of discrimination laws and Australia’s international obligations. But he said that if the inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee throws up issues that need to be addressed in the legislation then he will address them. The interview is available on The National Interest’s website.

A few days later the Senate Committee announced that it hopes to extend its reporting date to 11 August 2010 (a change that must be approved by the Senate before it can be formalised). This would mean a later closing date for submissions of 18 June.

Peter Mares presents The National Interest on ABC Radio National and is an adjunct fellow at the Institute for Social Research at Swinburne University of Technology.

Photo: Adam Dodd/ iStockphoto

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24 Comments

  1. Jas added this comment on 3 June 2010 | Permalink

    I strongly believe that what they are doing with onshore international students who have applied for residency is extremely unjust. I am Australian born and proudly call myself an Australian. However my family had migrated from India more than 30 years ago. It is not humane in any way to send those people, some who have been waiting for years for their application to be approved, back home. They have literally worked and studied day and night to make this country their home. I really want those people who have any humanity at all to protest against this bill and make sure that it does not get passed. I am trying my best to protest against it. Please do not let this bill pass. I have family and friends too that will be greatly affected by this. Please do not let it pass.

  2. Mohsin Rafiq added this comment on 3 June 2010 | Permalink

    I am writing in regard of visa capping bill 2010. I read following statement on

    http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/legcon_ctte/migration_amendment_visa_capping/info.htm

    “The Migration Amendment (Visa Capping) Bill 2010 (the Bill) seeks to amend the Migration Act 1958 to enable the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship (the Minister) to cap visa grants and terminate visa applications based on the class or classes of applicant applying for the visa. In particular, the Bill would enable the Minister to make a legislative instrument to determine the maximum number of visas of a specified class or classes that may be granted in a financial year to visa applicants with specified characteristics, and treat outstanding applications for the capped visa as never having been made. The proposed amendments are intended to address issues relating to the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa program”

    I am enormously frustrated and disappointed to the above, it means that, if some makes his plane to migrate to Australia and spend almost A$3000(assessment + visa application fee) and end of the day he got his application back (its never been made) as cape has been made on his application.

    I am really unable to understand, on what statistics and basis you have guys have prepared above bill. I supposed, It has been made to facilitate, just to pick those one you really like and reject those you don’t want to come to Australia. Wouldn’t be it batter if you just simple suspend the whole immigration so that every know at first place that he can not migrate to Australia.

    I do understand that immigration policy should be in the way that it should fulfill all the future skill needs of labor market of Australia but you guys should also thing about applicant’s situation as well like wise, if I have a plane to migrate to Australia, and I have lodged my application for visa. In the mean time most probably what I will be doing is, try to wind up my things from my residential country, like I will not change my job, I will not buy a house or I will not expand my business as my future plane to migrate to Australia and I want to do all this in Australia rather than in my own country. So just assume that how it would be like if after one year I simply get my application back because a damn cape has been made on my application.

    I believe that the above mentioned bill would simple gives too much power to single man and I really cant believe this would happen to republic like Australia and also it would be very disturbing over this situation as hundreds of people like me has already invested some money and time in it. I look forward for a sympathetic review over this bill in the light of above mentioned facts.

    Once again I request you to please consider the facts and review the bill. Should you need any further elaboration about this feel free to contact me.

    Mohsin Rafique Sheikh
    Lahore, Pakistan

  3. Zuleika Arashiro added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    If approved, this bill will not only add uncertainty to the Australian legal system but it will be another blow to the country’s international reputation in regard to its treatment of ‘foreigners’. It seems to me to be contrary to the good principle of rule of law in a democratic state. It is sad that we need to remind the government that this is not a mechanical exercise of ‘supply-driven’ versus ‘demand-driven’. Behind the 146,000 applications there are real lives, people who have complied with all the rules set by the Australian government, are in many cases living in Australia, working and establishing positive elationships, and who now face the fear of being asked to leave in 28 days.

    There’s already a high level of psychological distress amongst those caught by the previous changes. Now this bill risks increasing the anxiety for existing applicants about which criteria will be discretionarily applied, and it creates a two-world situation, in which these applicants are denied the normal legal protection ensured to Australians.

    The ‘send them back home’ strategy is now reaching a dangerous dimension in Australia…

  4. Lakshmi Chhetri added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    I think, it is totally unfair and injustice to all the students who have come to this county with hopes and dreams.
    I would like the ministers who wanted to pass this bill to place themselves in our’s (students’)position first and think what will happen to them and their family if such things have happened to them.

  5. chirag mangal added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    hi my name is chirag i have aplied application b4 1 sep 2007 as cook and from past 3 years i have been waitin.i can understand the govt.point of view put instead of capping all application why dont mr.rudd govt. try to enquire about genuinity of case suppose if person applied gsm application as cook 3 years back is he still in this proffesion if yes why not give him pr if he always been drivin taxi,security and all why he applied thu cookery or from different proffession this gona b better way to sort out problems i reckon.thnx
    0401229064
    chigi_14@yahoo.co.in
    sydney

  6. Gurvinder Singh added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    I believe its not a good bill for any students who is studying in australia, because they are studying here as per australian government want them to do… Well I think it will affect most to australian economy because many of us are working in all the kitchens, hair dressing shops covering million’s people work in workplaces to become Wht we wanna become in our life with contributing to australian economy as well. Well if this bill will it will affect all over australia and may be australia will face another economy crisis in australia again… Because then they will be in short of staff again every where. And then australian government will be blamed for all the mess they created all around the area. So,, its better if they work together and if they could find out something else than facing another economic crisis.

  7. Druvi added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    The rudd govt is just playing with foreigners. Firstly they increased the ielts test point then jobready came in then, new modl and now capping……. The govt has no idea how students are strugling just 2 stay here….. Unbelivable. “don’t know what’s gonna happen next”

  8. Pooja added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    I think Mr.Evans just want an easy way to have an answer for all the application and thats just by terminating the applications.Mr.Evans please try to do little bit of work and dig out the applications who really require consideration as their applicants have been working in their fields since last 4 years. I cant beleive that Australia is trying to change their contitution just to get away with immigrants who have been invited by Howard Government as per Mr.Evans.So, why you guys are ruining our lives because of your internal politics.

  9. Helen added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    First and foremost, a BIG thank you to Peter Mares for writing an extremely good article on exactly how the situation is.

    I am extremely concerned as I am a visa applicant myself and haven been in the pipeline of 20months. This whole waiting-uncertainty game has taken a toll on me. I am a family sponsored GSM applicant and that was the category 6ii and im not even sure if that category still exists?

    Anyway, for the sake of of all existing visa applants I hope this bill is burnt.

    Thanks Peter Mares again.

  10. pradeep added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    all i want to say is goverment is playing with our dreams those we ever seen to be settled in this beautiful country and lovely people. i been here for 4 years now. i love it here.
    i asked my parents if they can help me with $ 20,000 when i get PR. so i can open my own restaurant with my friend. my parents were happy with my decision and they wanted to give me all help i need. now, this visa capping and terminating bill seems like going to kill us. i paid $20,000 fees and bills and rents and everything. we are used to this country now and now they are passing such bad bill which effect life of 1000′s of students. i feel like student who are living here for years now feel like cheated and very disappointed. they feel like they wasted all their money and very important time of life to make their future in this country.
    i will request all ministers and goverment of australia please take serious consideration on this issue. plz do not end of our dreams in between. we believe in hard work and it will help our economy( australian economy). please do not end of live’s here.

  11. TM added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    Thank you so much for making public the unprecedented potential power that the Minister of Immigration will acquire from the proposed rushed amendment to the 1958 Migration Act, should it go through.
    Yet again more retrospective legislation proposed that might affect applicants that have lodged genuine and valid onshore applications for PR. after studying here.
    We have had overwhelming support from family and friends, as this affects a member of our family. They are horrified that a civilized country (their country) could consider treating people who have studied here, payed thousands of dollars to gain Australian qualifications, applied for their visas on shore. working and paying taxes after studying, now on the indefinite bridging visa A, face the prospect of having their visas refused, with no right of appeal, and only 28 days to leave the country.
    Doesn’t this country want decent hard working people, who have made such a big commitment to stay here?

  12. Tiara Shafiq added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    The occupations-based system is flawed as it is. It doesn’t consider as valid many growing industries in Australia and the world, such as the Creative Industries. It looks at your degree ONLY, not your work experience or skills or references. I applied as a “print journalist” because that’s the only thing that my Bachelor of Creative Industries (Interdisciplinary) could fit without question, even though I was more than qualified to do all sorts of work from youth work to community cultural development to marketing & project management. It doesn’t value entrepreneurship, doesn’t allow for job-changers, and doesn’t welcome interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary work.

    Employers hardly want to take you on with a bridging visa; I’ve heard from big institutions that they have a policy AGAINST hiring people with bridging visas because we have no end date. We get no Centrelink, no scholarships, no grants, some Medicare but that’s about it, no job assistance, no RPL, no loans, no credit cards, not even a chance on a reality show. So many arts training opportunities (I’m in performance art) are limited to PRs and citizens. It’s frustrating.

    We basically prop up the Australian economy; all taxes no benefits. We do the menial jobs no one wants. We pay full free upfront on everything. And yet people claim that we’re here to steal their heritage or their nation or something. If it weren’t for us Australia couldn’t exist!

    I wrote a detailed post about this sometime:
    http://www.tiarashafiq.com/2010/02/08/australian-immigration-too-many-pointless-changes

    It became a major letter writing campaign, even Chris Evans got a copy, but it doesn’t seem to have done any good.

  13. Harwinder Singh added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    I don not think that this bill is justified in any way. I do understand that the governmrnt never made a promise to any international student that he/she will get the residency after finishing the studies but it could easily be seen by any person with even a little bit of sense as why the overseas education industry boomed so rapidly especially from the less developed countries like India and China. The intentions of the students were clear they wanted residency and thats what they did by lodging valid applications according the exsisting law in place. the complied with all the conditions being fixed by the government. it was the government who set the basic eligibility criteria and now the goverbment of the same country is saying that the laws were not efficeint enough and the needs have changed so they do not deserve to be in the country. Then they talk about returning their fee back. Can they return the time they have spent here in hope of a better lifestyle that Australia has to offer? Some of them have been waiting here for the last three to four years for their application to be finalised and have adapted the system here. How can gthey grab the idea of going back home with nothing in their hands.How will they start a new life? Isn’t it a violation of the human rights?
    The goverbment talks about enhancing the job prospects for domestic employees.
    1.HOW MANY of the domestic employees do the jobs a newly arrived immigrans does?
    2.HOW MANY domestic emplyees drive taxis, work at convenience stores late at nights and do kitchen hand and cleaning?
    Can you imagine the harm this decision will cause to the australian economy if we get all the positions vacant at once.
    I think the government should think something about it.
    Not for those poor people only who might have sold their land or mother’s jewellery to come here but also for the sake of Australia.

  14. Vikrant Mahajan added this comment on 4 June 2010 | Permalink

    I feel like Australian government’s motive is only to take money from people of other countries. They are behaving like thugs. I agree they should look after their country, but , why do not they allow these changes on those people who are coming now or in the que to come in. I think government is very confused they dont know what to do. Every morning when we wake up, we have to face a new change. As we prepare ourselves to cope with that, another one comes in existence. We spent money, time and more than our life. We faced discrimination, to get experience we did volunteer work and had harassment too. If they are really desperate about cooks and hair dresser they should have stop them when they came in power. Why are they playing with our life? It is easy to speak from a A.C office, tell them to come on our place and suffer from these which we suffered from. Only then they can understand how we are getting animal treatment. We are contributing in economy, we are obeying law and doing nothing wrong. Government is getting advantage from us. Neither good treatment nor a support we got from government.
    I urge to government, especially to Mr. Evans Please have some mercy and dont play with our future. First you gave us dream for your benefit and now kicking us out again for your benefit. Please stop giving us animal treatment.

  15. kamal added this comment on 5 June 2010 | Permalink

    I have been working in this food industry for nearly 3 and half years. I know very well that how hard it is to work in the kitchen, hot and some time slippery floor with full of pressure, its means if you felt down , you will be in high risk of disability .NO body can imagine that how come the tasty food come up from the kitchen and people pay lot of money for that tasty food.A lot of process going on behind this tasty food. Why we are doing this? During this 3 and half years period i have seen only one kitchen hand who is from Australian citizenship, why? Before the bill pass please come and work with us then you will see the pain of international student.And don’t forget that i ‘m not fear of capping because i learnt a lot and i ‘m capable to work in my country . i wrote this comment because Australian will loss a lot and majority of restaurant owner will bankrupt.Thank you.

  16. Jasmine added this comment on 5 June 2010 | Permalink

    I have heard Chris Evans on the radio. It seems that he provided very diplomatic answers. I would like to ask him that what does he mean by demand driven migration!!!

    For example, a student with accounting degree and a student with computing professional. They both are getting 60 points and they both have proficient English and their applications are in pipeline.

    As per the demand if Australia needs ~200 accountans but no demand of coputing professional, what will happen to them. They have qualified through point system and waiting for decision from last 2 yrs….

    ARE THEY GOING TO CAP ALL THE COPUTING PROFESSIONALS WHERE THERE IS NO DEMAND……..

    Can you please ask minister to clarify this???? We dont want any diplomatic answer.

  17. Meehan added this comment on 5 June 2010 | Permalink

    It is very sad that this govenrnment think of us (foreign students applied for residency) as a mere number. I applied for my residency in Sep 2008 after finishing my two years of studies in hospitality (cookery). I was told I should get my PR in 6 months but still I am waiting. In the mean while I have invested heavily in a business and bought a house, with a hope soon I will get my PR.
    The government should understand if a person is living in Australia for 4 years he has invested lot of things such as time, money and emotions to make Australia as his own country. For god sake we are not just numbers we are human beings, please do not play with our future to achieve your political objectives.
    I hope no such rule is passed and if at all it is passed it should not effect applications already in pipeline. As we have followed all the rules and worked enough to gain relevant points to apply for PR, whatever was advised by the immigration department at that point of time.

  18. Deno added this comment on 5 June 2010 | Permalink

    The new coming Visa capped bill 2010 is going very rude for GSM visas. With this bill, the australian government going to play with the life of students and onshore GSM applicants.I have spent 4 years of my life in australia in hope to getting PR visa as i did study in commercial cookery. I am 28yers now. I have spent the importent and precious time of my life to study in australia. I am a double graduate from India. I spent a lot of money to pay fees. I got a bank loan which is pending about $18,000. If my application ceased then how i will payout my loan? How i will set up my self afer four years? As with this huge amount of loan how i can marry with my faunce? My family has no more money to payout. I know a lot of guys which are suffered from same situation. So, I have a request to australian government, please stop this bill and save life of humanity.

  19. Sandy added this comment on 7 June 2010 | Permalink

    I am an Australian and have always been proud to be Australian but I have to say at the moment I am embarrassed and ashamed of my government. They are playing with people’s lives.

    I understand that they feel they need to cut back on immigration but to cut it back as suddenly as they are doing is not good.

    Bring new regulations in with new students – not with the students who are currently here who have invested so much of their time and money into starting a new life here in Australia.

    Doesn’t the Government understand how much this will affect our acconomy? Take away the students? Who will work all their jobs? What about all the Schools that will have to close down? All those employees will then be without work. What about all the suppliers to these Schools? The list just goes on and on.

    My boyfriend has been waiting one and a half years for his TR to be approved. He had to make contact with Immigration to find out about his status. Now they are telling him that he needs to provide new medical, IELTS and to show his 900 hours work experience again. Why should he have to go through all this expense just because they can’t keep up to date with all the applications.

    We are wanting to get married but were waiting until his TR at least is approved. Now it looks like that won’t ever happen.

  20. rudra added this comment on 7 June 2010 | Permalink

    hi guys,

    its better if u send this letter to the committe , who is responsible for pass this bill. its in australian parliament website.
    cheers

  21. Shehmeer Khan added this comment on 7 June 2010 | Permalink

    Every country has the right to stop the people they dont want in their country, or kick out the people they dont need, but one must consider why and by whose fault those people are in Australia.

    Previous governments to boost the economy specially educational sector let everyone in, and now when the priorities have changed they want them out of here.

    Still migration agents in India, China and other countries are telling people to take this course as it will lead you to a PR.

    Immigration is a big decision and one changes many things when he/she decides to move from his native country, to leave the people, places, friends, society where he has grown.

    I will strongly suggest that all these changes should be applicable to people who wish to apply from July 1st rather than who have already applied.

    Further applications should be banned for another few months, so the current mess can be sorted out.

    Checks should be made stronger to identify the real people from the ones who are working in different domains rather the ones for which they have applied.

    I am pretty sure Australian government will not go into such a public situation and not to mention effect many of its industries.

    this is all huff and puff, nothing will happen

  22. sorab added this comment on 7 June 2010 | Permalink

    In regards to the comment I posted above, I forgot to write down ..

    these 147,000 people do have accommodation, they live in houses where they pay rent

    lets say on average we group 3 people in a 3 bedroom house and assume these 147,000 people waiting on decision live in shared houses,

    Thats an average of 50,000 houses vacated in 28 days after the cap is implemented…

    The prices of houses will go down … as if 50,000 houses are vacated straight away. Think and then act. The people who are onshore are part of the system , they work they eat and survive. They are not seeking help from government or cent relink.

    They pay RENT, TOLL , TAX, and of course Pay for everything as every Australian does. But they don’t get any financial help from government / Center link.

    I’d say again if someone is reading this.. THINK practically and then act.

  23. Anonymous added this comment on 8 June 2010 | Permalink

    Dear Law Makers of Australia,

    Have you ever tried to understand the plight of those students who came here to study with a dream of better life which they can give to there family and parents.

    According to me seeing the dream in proper way is acceptable. The same they did by coming here studying in australia, paying thousands of dollars as fees. Contributing to the Oz economy as taxes.

    To see a dream for the good living standards for themslves and there family is not bad every body sees that dream.

    Think about those people who migrated to australia after second world war, and australia accepted them , even provided them with assisted passage to australia.

    These students who invested there 4-5 years of life which is pretty much important to everybody irrespective of location or creed or religion.

    Invested all the savings of there family and parents so that they can get good qualification with a dream of migrate proper way, give good standards of living to there family.

    I hereby request you all to all the lawmakers of the Australia.

    Please think about those people who come here to study after taking loans by putting there parents home on mortage so that they can see a better life here.

    what they did wrong…
    they broke any rule…
    they apply Permanent residency according norms…
    Paying taxes…

    Standing together at ANZAC Day Dawn service
    for 6 years….yes one day we will be residents.

    Do you think if you throw them out like this they can have better living in there home country, is there any place for them in there home country in professional sense “NO”

    Please dont treat some years of once life is nothing…..its big value.

    Because this years are human years…. We are human beings….Please dont treat us like Pit Balls throwing out of the mainstream, we have also contributed to Australian economy.

    Every year we work and participate with evry australian…

    Even more in number…

    If it could be the Melbourne CUp.
    Grand Prix…
    Footy Matches….

    Please dnt shake our foundations, by making this law.

  24. Yudhi Setiawan added this comment on 10 June 2010 | Permalink

    It will be quite surprising if such legislation is to be passed on a short notice, and thousands of students told to pack up shortly after. Not only will this be incredibly unjust (similar to unfair job dismissal, only on a national scale), but also a real economic risk.

    How could a goverment make such a big adjustment to one of its argest export industries (contributing $16.5 billion annually, third largest after Coal and Iron ore) overnight, without a proper consultation process with the various parties?

    More than the millions of dollars needed to reimburse the thousands of PR applications, Billions of dollars more are at risk of being stripped off the industry in the form of lost tuition fees, accomodation, and other spending. Such risk, coupled with the recent Mining turmoil following government’s proposed super profit tax, is a concern for not only international students, but all ordinary Australians.

    Many will argue that Australian Education alone, without real prospect for australian jobs and residence, is far less attractive compared with German, Dutch, Singaporean or Japanese Education to name a few. These countries offer world-class education, real scholarship opportunities for international students, and very exciting cultural experiences.

    This legislation, if passed and implemented soon, will make Australian Education look very pale indeed in the eyes of our largest education consumers from the only few growing economies left; India and China.