Punjab students hail Australian visa reviewDecember 16th, 2010 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS
Chandigarh, Dec 16 (IANS) Students aspiring to study in Australia and overseas education consultants in Punjab Thursday hailed the proposed relaxations announced by the Australian government in the student visa norms.”The new rules, when they are implemented, will cover 38 different countries, including India. They have upgraded India as a lesser risk country. Now Indian students would find it easier to meet the financial requirements and we hope that Australia will again become a hot education stop for them,” Naresh Gulati, CEO of Oceanic Consultants here, told IANS.
Punjab is a major source of international students to countries like Australia, the US, Canada and Britain.
Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen and Minister of Tertiary Education Chris Evans Wednesday announced proposed changes in the student visa programmes that focus largely on the financial requirements of obtaining student visas.
“During the last one-year, Australia had seen a sudden decline in the number of international students. This trend was observed not only from India but also from other countries like China. International students contribute significantly to the Australian economy, therefore they are overhauling their system,” Gulati said.
During the past few months, a large number of students wanting to study in Australia, considered other destinations because they found the financial requirements for the Australian student visa far more stringent than those of other countries.
According to the proposed changes, all students who apply for visa on or after April 1, 2011, would need to show funds for only two years of their studies instead of the currently required three years. Such funds are required to be only three-month-old against the current six-month-old requirement.
“One of my relative’s student visa application was recently rejected by Australian embassy due to lack of funds. Therefore I was also very apprehensive about applying for a management course in Sydney. But these proposed relaxations will be of great help in getting a student visa,” said Nishant Singhal, a resident of Zirakpur town, around 10 km from here.
Mahi Sandhu, an engineering student from Chandigarh, told IANS: “I always wanted to go to Australia for higher studies. We welcome these measures and I am sure that Australia will again see a heavy rush of Indian students.”
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