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South Australia to benefit from new migration plans.



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Senator Amanda Vanstone MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULTURAL AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

Media Centre

South Australia to Benefit from new Migration Plans

VPS 062/2004

Joint media release with: The Hon Kevin Foley MP, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation Deputy Premier of South Australia

The number of overseas students studying in and migrating to South Australia will be increased under new migration initiatives.

The plans are outlined in the Commonwealth/South Australian Working Party on Migration report, launched today by the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, and the Deputy Premier of South Australia, Kevin Foley.

The Minister and the Deputy Premier said the report underlines the strong and productive relationship between the Commonwealth and South Australian Governments, especially on regional and state specific migration issues.

'It also highlights the significant economic and social benefits that regional and state specific migration can offer States and Territories,' Senator Vanstone said.

'South Australia's significant involvement in state and regional migration schemes has been pivotal to the development and ongoing success of these schemes,' she said.

Mr Foley said the report was a huge step forward in addressing the State's population needs.

'Our population policy identifies the need to attract migrants who bring skills, capital and enterprise to South Australia. The initiatives in the report will make it easier for these migrants to settle in South Australia,' Mr Foley said.

Overseas students and regional education providers will benefit from the Commonwealth Government's new Skilled Independent Regional (SIR) visa, that provides an extra 5000 places for migrants who commit to living and working in regional areas or low population growth areas such as Adelaide.

'From 1 July 2004 overseas students who complete a bachelor degree course from a university in regional Australia or areas such as Adelaide will be eligible to apply for the SIR visa whilst they are physically in Australia,' Senator Vanstone said.

'Regional education providers, such as the three South Australian universities, will gain a competitive edge over their metropolitan counterparts because overseas students will be encouraged to study in and migrate to

regional areas,' she said.

Mr Foley said that the State Government would facilitate the sponsorship of migrants through Immigration SA and he hopes to have migrants settle across the State, not just in Adelaide.

Encouraging overseas students to study in and migrate to regional Australia

From 1 July 2004, overseas students who complete a generalist undergraduate degree (for example a Bachelor of Economics) from a university in regional Australia will be able to apply for the new Skilled-Independent Regional (SIR) visa without leaving Australia.

However, people studying in other major centres will be unable to apply for the SIR visa on-shore because most of them would be unable to meet the passmark of 110 points without doing further study.

The new arrangements will work like this:

Points test attribute Major metropolitan university

Regional university (eg University of South Australia, Adelaide University or Flinders University)

Skill 50 points 50 points

English ability

20 points 20 points

Age

30 points for those under 30 years 30 points for those under 30 years

Australian qualification 5 points 5 points

Regional study

0 points 5 points

Total 105 points 110 points

This means that most overseas students graduating from one of South Australia's universities would be able to apply for the new SIR visa from 1 July 2004 whilst in Australia because they would meet the passmark of 110 points.

After two years living and working in regional Australia, the SIR visa holder could then apply for permanent residence through one of the current regional skilled visas.

The new arrangements underline the Australian Government's commitment to assisting development in regional Australia.

20 April 2004