VISA application can be incredibly tricky and many international students are confused by the process. Come along to the University of Melbourne’s Visa Options Workshop hosted by UMSU International this Thursday to have your questions answered. Faridah Wu has more.
UMSU International, Melbourne University’s international branch of the student union, will be holding a Visa Options workshop this Thursday from 12pm to 2pm at Theatre B in the Old Arts Building.
Non-Melbourne University students are also welcome to attend.
The workshop is geared towards helping international students gain insight into the tricky application processes for Permanent Residency (PR) and Temporary Residency (TR) visas after graduation, and the support services available if students encounter legal issues.
The workshop will also touch on issues such as visa-related scams.
Greta Haywood, the university’s legal service solicitor, will be speaking at the workshop. She told Meld that international students have been targeted by scammers who prey on people unfamiliar with the terms of their visa.
Posing as official authorities, the scammers typically send emails informing students that their visas have been revoked and demanding fees to process a new visa.
Students have been known to fall for such threats, transferring money to avoid trouble with authorities.
Problems with language and a lack of understanding of Australia’s laws, such as not knowing when and where to renew their visas, as well as the regulations students need to adhere to while their visas are being processed, are some of the reasons international students are more vulnerable to scammers, Ms Haywood says.
Education and welfare officer Vy Ha says the union will focus on other issues such as housing and internships in the future. Its current focus is on educating international students about their visa options.
“We felt that this issue is the most important topic, because before you can do anything else, you’ll need a visa,” she said.
The Visa Options workshop will be held this Thursday September 25 from 12 to 2pm in Old Arts Building Theatre B at the University of Melbourne. The workshop is free and lunch will be provided. Students can register for the workshop online.