Australians are famous for sports, generosity and friendliness and migrants have contributed greatly to this developing country. But until about Sept 2013 when this present Aust. Federal Labour government is annihilated in the next election, DO NOT come to Australia expecting a fair deal in immigration.
When you read the conditions for an 885 or 886 Permanent Residency visa, it can fool you into thinking you need only four sixes in the English language IELTS test to pass “competent English”. But the mandatory Points Test, which then decides your gaining permanent residency, awards ZERO points for four sixes and ruins your chances. The Points Test is so mean in awarding points in its other skills categories that you MUST achieve four eights in the IELTS test to get 20 points needed to pass the 65 required.
An IELTS test of 8.5,8.5,8.0,7.5 (overall Band score EIGHT) is no good because of a missing 0.5 point. This academically debateable difference (0.5) decides whether you are “A” grade material for Australia or a failed reject, after being stripped of your family life savings to boot. Why, if admittance to, say, Australian Nurse Registration only requires four sevens, do you have to jump this barrier, unless it is racially motivated? About 30% of Australian adults would not achieve four eights, so poorly is English taught in Australian schools. Also 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. Because it makes no sense to award higher points to over-25's who will retire earlier having paid less taxes, and who will put an extra burden on welfare.)
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 $A60,000 ($US 62,400) 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. Until June 2012, the pass mark for Permanent Residency is 65 and no restriction yet on how many can qualify even though it's 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 are from an English speaking country or you can find a large company to sponsor you and put up with truckloads of red tape, dont waste your time and money. The applicant queues will also get longer as people wait for “to-and-fro” bureaucracy to respond to the new rules.
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 up to a $10,000 subsidy. These boat people jump the queue and are displacing some 4500 genuine refugees from Australia's allotment of some 13,500 annually. It's not because Labour loves Asian boat people. It's because a small fascist Green voting block holds the balance of power and can tell the Labour Government what to legislate. The Greens 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. Students be warned: insanity rules.
The extended visa working periods in effect after June 2012 (2 years plus) apply to Degrees and Doctorates “to get experience” only and the policy is that any student should not expect an automatic right to immigration. (It will depend on the quota set at the time.) If you are not aiming for a high degree, or don't have a sponsor, or can't write an acceptable English novel, don't be sucked in by this government's spin – try elsewhere, or wait 2 years to observe what happens in Australia.
The Health Service Union one of the biggest in Australia (70,000 members) has two high officials under investigation for fraud. One is paid $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 electoral vote is crucial for Labour to retain power at least until about Sept 2013.
Australia is at present 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 statements of the current Australian Labour Government, independent residency may suffer a substantially reduced quota of immigrants.