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THE visas of a record numbers of foreign students have been cancelled by the Immigration Department in the past year. The 37 per cent rise in visa cancellations was caused, in part, by a crackdown on students who were failing courses or rorting the system by not turning up to college or university. The number of visa cancellations had remained relatively steady for four years. And, for a decade, gaining a visa to complete vocational training courses in cookery or hairdressing was seen as an almost guaranteed route to permanent residency. But that back door has been blocked by changes announced last year that favour students who graduate with degrees from universities. University graduates will be promised the right to work here for two years after graduation. Vocational training students have to wait on a second series of changes, due next year, to find out where they stand. The proposed visa changes, combined with the high Australian dollar, triggered a 13 per cent fall in international student numbers in the past year. The visa crackdown hit Indian students hardest, while Chinese students have fared much better because they are less likely to be studying in the less academically demanding vocational education and training sector. Vocational courses include hospitality, hairdressing, mechanics, business, IT and accounting. More than half the 332,709 international students in Australia at the end of June are at universities, while a third are on vocational training visas to study diploma courses. One in every five international students is Chinese, while one in every six is Indian. Australian courses are also popular with South Korean, Brazilian and Malaysian students. Most international students come to NSW and Victoria. To receive a visa they must be enrolled in a course, show they can pay tuition and living costs, and meet health and English language tests. Of 15,066 cancellations by the department in the past year, 3624 students lost their visas because they flunked some or all subjects or were no-shows to class. Another 2235 visas were cancelled by students who quit their courses and 212 were from students who finished courses early. The department offers eight kinds of student visas. Despite the department overseeing the visa program, some foreign students never return to their home countries and end up as illegal immigrants.
Air travel to New Zealand and Tasmania has been thrown into turmoil after a plume of volcanic ash from Chile forced Qantas and Jetstar to cancel dozens of flights. Qantas grounded all 14 flights in and out of Tasmania on Sunday, while eight flights between Australia and Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown were cancelled. Jetstar cancelled 10 trans-Tasman flights, 18 services between Tasmania and the mainland, and 20 domestic New Zealand flights. But Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand are continuing to fly to Tasmania and New Zealand, with both airlines deciding instead to alter flight routes and the height at which they travel. The Puyehue volcano in Chile began erupting on June 4, with the initial ash plume reaching above 15,240 metres. The volcanic cloud drifted over the southern skies on Saturday night and is expected to linger for the next few days.Qantas and Jetstar said they were in contact with affected passengers and would continue to review the situation. A Virgin spokeswoman said the airline's flight operations team was working with the Bureau of Meteorology and monitoring the ash plume. David Morgan, Air New Zealand general manager, operations and safety, said the airline was working with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), NZ's Metservice and others to keep up to date with ash movement and forecasts. "The ash has travelled a great distance at high altitude and remains present at distinct altitude bands between 20,000-35,000 feet," he said. "As a result, where required, aircraft will fly at a lower altitude of 18,000 feet to remain below the ash or operate a slightly different course to remain clear of it. Our pilots are explaining this to passengers on each flight as needed." The flight disruption was made more chaotic by heavy morning fog in Melbourne causing dozens of domestic and international flights to be diverted or delayed in and out of Melbourne Airport. Some outbound flights were delayed, while many arrivals were diverted to other cities until the fog lifted by mid-morning. Airservices Australia said the volcanic plume could affect air travel for the next few days. In a statement, it said the main ash cloud had reached airspace in southern Tasmania and the south island of New Zealand but it was expected to pass to the south of the Australian mainland. The northern edge of the cloud was expected to reach Victoria, southern NSW and the ACT, but it was also diffusing. "This part of the ash cloud is not expected to impact south-east Australia beyond a day but other parts of the ash cloud are being closely watched in case they move over Australia," the statement said. Airservices Australia said traffic management officers in its National Operations Centre were working with airlines to minimise disruption by rerouting aircraft wherever possible. June 12 2011
Hi everyone We have received three inquiries from RSMS visa holders these past few weeks. One with health problems and wanting to move to capital city; one who arrived and discovered there was no work and a third who was being ripped off by his employer. Given the past discussions I thought you may be interested to know that we discussed all three cases with two different DIAC officers in two different states and got the same response. The clients who will be followed up are those who have simply "used" an employer as a means to get a quick visa and then left as soon as they arrive in Oz. If the employer reports them DIAC will try and find them and visa cancellation is a possibility. For people who have made a genuine attempt to work and things have not worked out for whatever reason, and both the employee and employer are happy to terminate the contract, DIAC will not pursue these cases. For visa applicants who arrive and find there is no promised job, or are exploited - DIAC encourages you to report those employers. Your visas will not be cancelled. However I would still strongly advise each individual RSMS visa holder who wants to leave their employer, to contact a migration agent and ask them to speak to Immigration about the situation. Names do not have to be divulged. I trust this may be helpful information for those of you who have found yourselves in untenable positions. Libby Hogarth reg agent 9364758 Adelaide, SA
I was amazed and gobsmacked to find out that if you wish to cancel a direct debit here it doesn't work in the same way as it does in the UK. I informed the company, gave them notice of cancelling the contract and requested that the payment be stopped, nothing different there. I then went into the bank and asked them to cancel it from their end. Erm sorry, no can do. What???? Do you mean I have no control over my account that if the company try to take more money as they are so often wont to do they can and I can't stop them? Afraid so, they don't have the system in place to do this. I'm sorry but I've never heard anything more ridiculous in my life, I worked in banking in the Uk and I find it very hard to believe that in this day and age they don't have the facillity to implement this. So word of warning, if you cancel a direct debit, watch your account like a hawk.....:policeman: