If the Post Study Work visa (expanded 485) is indeed implemented next week, it is likely to be a case of bad timing for the Gillard Government and a clear self-goal that they cannot help. It will negate all the arguments being given by them on the tightening of the 457 visa.
Gillard has been actively wooing the unions and has made the tightening of the 457 as her slogan to show that she is putting the jobs to the Australian first. Unfortunately for her, few are only buying this argument and now that the Post Study Work is “reportedly” being introduced next week, it is a clear case of bad timing. Post Study Work option for the international students allows a 2-4 years of work rights post the qualification and a possible “migration pathway” (if they can move to other visa categories thereafter and if they can find a job and meet the new skill select method). PSW was announced 1.5 years ago for implementation from early 2013. At that time there was no election on the horizon and the government had the “boat issue” to engage the country. However now, the situation is somewhat changed and am sure that the Government and the new Immigration minister is wishing that they didnot have to have the PSW to implement… The PSW will be under the expanded 485. Earlier, 485 allowed 18 month work permission to those graduating students who had a skill on the demand list of occupations. The new expanded 485 will allow a minimum of 24 months to all graduating degree students and importantly, it is not linked to any skills on the demand list and hence an easier and more attractive option for the international students… Certainly a draw that can revigorate the education industry.
Are you getting my point… If yes, go ahead and enjoy the discomfort of the Gillard Government next week. (Unless they find a way to delay the PSW introduction even though newspapers are buzzing with the news of it happening. The Universities have also been told that it will be introduced. However the immi site continues to have old information on it and doesn’t commit on a date, yet…)
“We want more Australian workers to fill the skilled jobs our economy creates. I offer absolutely no apology for putting the opportunities of Australian working people first, front and centre”
(Australian PM Julia Gillard speaking at University of Western Sydney, two weeks ago).
This was as she raised the issue of 457 subclass visa and the need to tighten it. This has become a major election issue now. What she fails to recognise is that this is the precise visa that was tomtom-ed by by her as an explanation of how Australia is welcoming migrants and further as the right avenue for students if they are employable post their education. At that time her government had decided to “delink the education and immigration link” and abolished the MODL.
An interesting observation is that what the Australian PM is pitching, it seems borrowed from what the British PM Cameron has been saying in the UK and also from what is being stated in the USA where tightening of the H1B visa is currently being implemented… Nothing new and nothing original at all. In-fact it is not fitting in well too in the context of Australia which needs migrants more than the UK or even the USA.
“Somewhere along the line, the H-1B programme got side-tracked. The programme was never meant to replace qualified American workers, but it was instead intended as a means to fill gaps in highly specialised areas of employment. When times are tough, like they are now, it’s especially important that Americans get every consideration before an employer looks to hire from abroad,”
The legislation, introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, makes reforms to increase enforcement, modify wage requirements and ensure protection for visa holders and American workers. Among other things, the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2013 ensures that an H-1B application filed by an employer that employs 50 or more US workers will not be accepted unless the employer attests that less than 50 per cent of the employer’s workforce are H-1B and L visa holders.
The other observation is the “Indian” factor. In USA, H1B is largely used by Indian origin workforce. In UK too. In Australia, Gillard has given the example of the IT industry where the maximum number of 457 visas are being given and where import of manpower is taking place. She gives the example of Mahindra-Satyam. Once again, it is “India” which is in focus.Further, the PSW introduction is also to woo Indian students to Australia. So, India has started mattering in elections around the world. A good thought to end this blog.
UPDATE: IT IS NOW COMMUNICATED THAT THE POST STUDY WORK VISA IS BEING IMPLEMENTED FROM 23RD MARCH 2013. All degree students who meet the requirement will be able to get between 2-4 years of PSW after the studies in Australia… http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2013L00490