Victoria calls for faster overseas student immigration visas
Immigration visas for international students could be set to change, after Victorian premier Denis Napthine called for faster processing procedure. Addressing a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting on Friday (April 19), Dr Napthine said it is vital to make it as easy as possible for foreign students to enter the country. COAG agreed to add the issue to its list of priorities for the future, following a number of actions raised in the Asian Century White Paper, which was released by the federal government in October last year. Dr Napthine said: “I put the position to COAG that all states are potentially missing out on international student enrolments because of Australian visa processes, which can take longer than those for the United Kingdom and the US. “Our competitive advantage in terms of international students is impacted by these processes.” Victoria already has an annual influx of 100,000 overseas students, with plans to expand the sector, which the state government described as “important”. Dr Napthine also focused COAG’s attention on free trade agreements, arguing that arrangements with China and Japan are completed as quickly as possible. “These would provide a major boost for Victoria, including our dairy industry,” he explained.