How to Migrate to Australia as a Student?

Just short of a personal invitation, Australia’s immigration policy beckons you with open arms. Australia, like its cousins, the UK, NZ, Canada and the USA needs skilled migrants desperately. And when it comes to skilled migrants, no one is more precious than someone who has been groomed at an Australian university.

Of Australia’s 19.5 million, less than 1% are Indians, almost all of whom are professionals. Most of the 12,000 Indian students currently on Australia’s campuses will find some work and apply for migration and settle down like the rest of their predecessors.

Australia picks and chooses through its migration policy, which has a number of categories. The most popular are – family-based migration where a family member (parent, uncle, aunt, first cousin, brother or sister) can sponsor another; skilled based migration, based on a points system, where one ought to earn 120 to be able be eligible and the latest category, Regional Migration, where, points don’t matter, but whether you have a willing employer in smaller towns and suburbs.

The migration category that applies to students is called Graduate Migration wherein you can apply for migration while you are enrolled in a University in Australia.

Australia offers several advantages to international students. Studying in Australia is cheaper by 30% than studying in the UK, Canada or the US. There is wide variety of choice from the thousands of courses available; all of which are of international quality. And those in selected 2-year course automatically qualify for a Permanent Residency. And to top it all, the standard of living is something to die for.

Most of the times the beginning of an overseas experience is unlearning rigidly held thoughts, customs and habits. For an adult who may have spent almost 20-30 years in his native soil, migrating may be akin to uprooting a tree. The smartest way to assimilate into local society is through the university campus. The 1-3 years sensitizes one to local customs. The University is therefore, the Ellis Island, the point of entry to a migrant.

Going in as a student also means that the bank pays for all your expenses. Student loans attract low rates of interest and are easy to get. You need to repay the loan only 12 months after you graduate or 6 months if you find a job whichever is earlier and the loan can be paid over 6 years. This works out to around Rs.8000 a month on a typical loan of Rs.6 lacs and it translates to just AU $270 a month.

The long student tenure means longer time to job search. The campus allows you to apply for jobs in the least expensive manner. You can make a local call; set up a personal interview; which would not have been possible if you were applying from outside or even as a migrant from inside.

Australian education has a lot of conversion courses and allows you to start a new career. A candidate with a B.Com can take up a MIT or a candidate with a BA can enroll in a MS in Teaching.

Before you pack up your bags or even spend time on the Australian university admission process, ask the following questions:
Do I qualify for admission?
Will I qualify for an Australian Student Visa?
Are Part-Time Jobs available in the Area?
Is a job available upon migration?

Only if the answer to all the above questions is a ‘Yes’ should you consider starting the process. Getting an admission to an Australian university is relatively easy. There is a university and program for everyone and for all grades. Another reason why Australia is popular with many Indian students is that it does not require 16 years of study. However, all applicants must take the IELTS exam.

The Australian Student Visa does not have a personal interview! But getting past the Pre-Visa, is quite demanding and all the financial formalities have to be strictly complied with.

Getting a part-time job depends on the campus you will be going to. And you have to make sure that your degree and job is in demand before you think of migration.

And to be eligible for a job in Australia, you must have what every successful migrant would swear by – a technical expertise!

Interestingly, even a 2-year MBA will not lead to migration. The candidate will have to return to India; gain 3 years work experience before he or she qualifies for an Australian Permanent Residency.

As not all Degrees lead to migration; it makes a lot of sense to find out which degrees qualify and simply take the one, which guarantees it. A 2- year is a fundamental requirement for Graduation Migration but that does not guarantee a PR. A 2-year with Skills in Demand does the trick. So you will definitely need to take a 2-year degree to be eligible for migration and after that, check out which degrees the Australian Immigration is okay with.

The only way to stay back in Australian and apply for a migration when the Graduate Migration does not work is the newly announced Regional Migration Scheme. This Scheme aims to encourage migration in less developed and sparsely populated towns and suburbs in Australia. The Regional Migration does not have a point system – just find an employer and you are in.

Australia wants skills – hands on skills. Hence, the demand for tradesmen. A 2-year Diploma in Automobile Mechanics; Hair Dressing; Plumbing gets you a Graduate Migration at the end of the course. So, if you liked Hair Dressing; fixing a car or tinkering things around in your home, Australia is the place for you.

Australia also requires IT Professionals, Nurses, Teachers, Social Workers and Skilled Accountants.

IT Professionals may have been taken off the priority category but it is still a stand-alone occupation. Anyone can take a 2-year IT Degree and get PR through Graduate Migration. Nurses can undergo a 24-week orientation course before they can apply for migration. Teachers can take up a Masters in Education course and joins schools badly in need of teachers. Similarly Social Workers are in demand.
Instead of taking a MBA, consider an MPA, which is eligible for graduate migration. Dentists and Doctors can consider taking non-clinical degrees to enter the country. You can work as a well paid Dental Technician while you are studying.

So Australia is the place to be. Don’t go by the distorted size of the country looking at standard map. Australia is huge and I was rudely punished when I had to sit in a train for days. When you are in Australia, I don’t know if you will miss India, but one thing you just won’t miss is the sun and the fun!ª

Xavier Augustin is the President & CEO of YAXIS Overseas Careers. He is a graduate of the Masters in International Business Studies Program from the University of South Carolina and can be contacted at Visit 

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