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Australia’s Minister for Education Jason Clare has said that the government will increase post-study work rights for international students who graduate from universities in Australia in industries with the skills shortage.
This means that graduates with select bachelor’s degrees will be able to stay in the country for four years, those with master’s degrees eligible for five years, and those with PhDs for six.
Currently, international students who hold a bachelor’s degree are permitted to stay in the country for two years, master’s graduates for three years, and doctoral students for four years.
The peak body also appreciated the government’s efforts to expedite visa processing as well as the announcement to expand the annual migration intake.
It is yet to be announced which degree programs will be permitted for the extended visas, but the country is currently struggling to fill vacancies in sectors including nursing, engineering and technology.
A working group will be established to advise on which courses will be eligible and the group will report to the government before the end of October.
The news has been welcomed by Australia’s international education sector, with stakeholders expecting that the measures can both help boost the workforce and increase the country’s appeal to prospective international students.
The government also announced that the number of hours that international students can work will be capped once again in June 2023, reversing the relaxation of restrictions in January, although a decision has not yet been made on what the cap will be.
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