Visa Crunch

New South Wales Wants Tourists & International Students Back Quickly, Australian Prime Minister Says Borders Will Remain Shut

The New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet announced last week that fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed to enter the state beginning November 1. However, Australian PM Scott Morrison later clarified that the country’s borders will not be opened to everyone right away, with only citizens and their family members allowed in at first. On the other hand, New South Wales is attempting to resurrect its economy.

The CEO of the Tourism and Transport Forum, Margy Osmond, told Sky News Australia that Australia needs overseas students back “at the speed of light,” adding that they not only help the university sector but also provide a valuable skill base for the hospitality and tourism businesses.

Meanwhile, The Sydney Morning Herald stated that New South Wales ministers would lobby their federal counterparts to allow the state to open up to overseas students and visitors as soon as possible, following the state’s much-anticipated 80 percent double dose vaccination milestone on October 16.

Likewise, after the federal government intervened to prevent this, New South Wales Treasurer Matt Kean was cited as saying that he wanted overseas students and tourists back in the state “as soon as possible.” “Obviously, the emphasis should be working with the Commonwealth to get the settings correct, which is exactly what we will do,” Kean said.

For the time being, the pilot initiative in New South Wales will allow 500 overseas students to return to the state in December, but the state aims to do more in the future. Morrison and Perrottet had “intense discussions” on October 15, according to a senior government source, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, citing a senior government source.

The abolition of quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers, according to Kean, was done to ensure that all Australians stranded overseas could return home, as well as to “get our economy pumping” by opening borders to international students and tourists. He provided no indication of when fully vaccinated international students and tourists would be allowed to visit New South Wales, since the Commonwealth, which oversees visa issuance, will make that decision.

Independently, the Financial Review reported that the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) will launch a public awareness campaign in the coming weeks to convince the public of the benefits of international education to the broader community, including jobs, diversity, and skilled labor flow. Universities, they say, are pressuring Education Minister Alan Tudge and Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to overhaul the student visa system to better link education to skilled jobs and permanent residency, akin to Howard-era plans.

As per Honeywood, the IEAA presented Tudge and Hawke with a policy paper proposing that any overseas student who completes an additional professional year in the skills need the sector to be given double the migration points toward permanent residency. The Australian Technology Network advocated connecting student visas to jobs in a separate proposal to the government.

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