Australians are generally friendly, but until about Sept 2013 when this present dysfunctional minority Aust. Federal Labour government is annihilated in the next election DO NOT come to Australia expecting a fair deal in immigration
. The IELTS test alone demands FOUR 8's in reading, writing, speaking and listening. You now get fewer points towards permanent residency if you are under 25. (This was because they wanted to block the majority of young Asian students who were already in Australia and wanted residency.)
However, student visas are easier to get because you are viewed as a cash cow. You are charged up to 500% more for course fees than what an Australian pays, (you pay $60,000 Aust for a 3 year Bach. Nursing Degree course) and the quality varies from good (if you know the colleges) to mediocre (if you don't).
But for permanent residency, there will be in June an "Expression of Interest" system where you have to apply to be invited as a resident. Till June 2012, the pass mark for Permanent Residency is 65 and no restriction yet on how many qualify even though difficult. After June 2012, there will be quotas set in each profession and nobody knows where the union lobby will tell the immigration minister to set the pass mark, could be 70 or more, or less. DONT ever think you can come to Australia and study a trade then get residency on your own merits like it used to be. Unless you can find a large company to sponsor you and put up with truckloads of red tape, dont waste your time and money.
However, if you risk your life and arrive on a boat, whilst throwing away your passport to claim asylum, you will get favoured treatment and given a $10,000 subsidy. This is because a small fascist Green voting block holds the balance of power and can tell Labour what to legislate. They also forced a crippling 23% carbon tax on the economy, which tax Australians hate, to be unleashed in June. Cost of living is expected to skyrocket in fuel, gas, transport, electricity, rent, etc. Yes insanity rules.
The extended visa working periods in effect after June (2 years plus) apply to Degrees and Doctorates but even English doctors have been hassled by the IELTS test. The Health Service Union one of the biggest in Australia (70,000 members) has two high officials under investigation for fraud. One paid himself $320,000 plus per annum (plus other director fees, plus alleged fraudulent expenses) whilst their members average $70,000 wages. The government is protecting them at all costs because their one vote is crucial to retain power at least until about Sept 2013.
Australia at present is undergoing a crisis of incompetence foisted by rabid unions only interested in personal power, and protecting their high awards, (no migrant competition thanks) regardless of the great harm they are doing to Australian companies and working people alike. Don't be fooled by rosy government statements, they only apply to a select few.