RICKY is a mature-aged Chinese student who came to Melbourne to study cookery.
When he first began his studies, his occupation was listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List, meaning he was eligible for permanent residency under the skilled migration visa.
But changes to the skilled migration visa introduced in February this year mean Ricky is no longer eligible for permanent residency when he finishes his studies.
“Of course, I’d planned to get permanent residency when I finished my course, but the changes mean limited TAFE students are able to get permanent residency,” Ricky said.
“The changes to the law mean I face a financial burden and unemployment.”
Ricky is not alone. A recent survey conducted by JWT Education found a quarter of international students chose to study in Australia in the hope of gaining permanent residency.
The survey included 1600 international students from more than ten Australian universities and showed 24 per cent were studying in Australia with a view to gaining permanent residency, compared with only five per cent in 2005.
Ricky said he was not angry about changes to the skilled migration visa, but felt he made the wrong choice to study cookery.
He said he was now considering changing course.
“I prefer to study IT, (but) I’m afraid I cannot catch up if I change since I have no relevant knowledge for this major,” he said.
“There’s a lot of planning and waiting to see if I will return to China or keep studying,” he said.