“High value migration has a critical role to play in improving the State’s productive capabilities, and migrants can provide many of the skills required to underpin actions we are taking to rebuild the NSW economy,” said Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner.
He unveiled the NSW position which is summed up in NSW Strategy for Business Migration & Attracting International Students which aims to change the migration environment in NSW to better align with the NSW government’s economic priorities.
NSW supports the recommendations of the Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program 2011 (Knight Review), specifically the proposal to replace the current risk assessment system which it says is “complex, inflexible and has discouraged overseas students from electing to study in NSW”.
The NSW Government said it welcomes the federal government’s announcement that university graduates will be eligible for post-study work rights.
Its Strategy Document states, “The NSW and Victorian Governments will work together with the Commonwealth to extend streamlined visa processing and post-study work rights to international students at a broader range of high-quality, low-risk education providers, including VET providers.”
“Overseas migrants, foreign students and visitors to NSW help establish international relationships which support our cultural and economic links,” Stoner said.
The seven priority actions stated in the strategy are:
- Increase the NSW share of State Government sponsored skilled migrants.
- Increase our share of Business Skills Migration.
- Work with regional communities to ensure skills issues, including shortages, are identified in a timely fashion to inform operation of the State-sponsored skilled migration program.
- Simplify sponsorship requirements for investors using the 165 visa class and work with the Commonwealth to reduce temporary residency requirements and to streamline the four to eight year permanent residency roll over mechanisms.
- Seek to extend the definition of a designated investment to include NSW Waratah Bonds and other suitable instruments.
- Explore whether a new investor visa should be implemented.
- Extend streamlined visa processing and post study work rights to international students at a broader range of high quality, low risk education providers, including VET providers.
The majority of international students studying in Australia are based in Victoria and NSW. Premiers acknowledged the region’s importance at a meeting in December 2011 when they agreed to include international education in the Interstate Reform Partnership aimed at accelerating economy-based reforms between Australia’s two largest states.