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Can there be another Covid-19 wave in Sri Lanka?

Australian High Commissioner mislead Sri Lankan foreign students Vote_lcap68%Australian High Commissioner mislead Sri Lankan foreign students Vote_rcap 68% [ 178 ]
Australian High Commissioner mislead Sri Lankan foreign students Vote_lcap18%Australian High Commissioner mislead Sri Lankan foreign students Vote_rcap 18% [ 47 ]
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FINANCIAL CHRONICLE™ » CORPORATE CHRONICLE™ » Australian High Commissioner mislead Sri Lankan foreign students

Australian High Commissioner mislead Sri Lankan foreign students

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Manager - Equity Analytics
Manager - Equity Analytics
Just another statement from Australian High Commissioner to mislead Sri Lankan students and their parents. Earlier Australian PM made a statement requesting temporary visa holders to leave Australia. 

Salient points are below (As per the attached/underlined statement)

(1) Changes are made to temporary Visa Holders to support critical Industries. Objective of the change is not to help the Visa Holders but to make use of their labour to assist critical industries in order for Australians to recover from the Virus.

(2) Australia wants students to Pay University fees and not attend classes. They want to keep their Education Industry afloat at the expenses of the students and their education. If they are genuine, they should be wave off the University fees instead of allowing students to pay without attending classes.

(3)& (4) Australia Government is forcing Foreign Students to work part time or find money from their savings, borrow or beg money from the others. 

(5) Foreign Students are anyway entitled to work 40 Hours. This is nothing special. Just an eye wash.

(6) From 1st May, If things improve they don't want students to work extra hours. They want to make use of cheap labour of foreign students and expose them to the Corona virus during high risk period and remove them from their jobs and replace with Australians after the recovery. How selfish is the High Commissioner!

Australian High Commissioner mislead Sri Lankan foreign students Au040510
Australian High Commissioner mislead Sri Lankan foreign students Au040511


Australian Prime Minister To Visitors: ‘Time To Make Your Way Home’

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison encouraged all visitors to return to their home countries during a press conference on Friday, April 3, as he discussed the country’s latest efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“As much as it’s lovely to have visitors to Australia in good times, at times like this, if you are a visitor in this country, it is time—as it has been now for some while, and I know many visitors have—to make your way home and to ensure you can receive the supports that are available where they are in your home countries,” said Morrison. “At this time Australia must focus on its own citizens and its residents to ensure that we can maximize the economic supports that we have,” he said.

The statement comes on the heels of a number of hostel parties and beach gatherings that were held by travelers in Bondi Beach and Byron Bay despite the strict social distancing regulations currently being enacted all over the country. The National Cabinet declared on March 29 that no more than two people should be out in public at a time unless they are part of your household.

So far, there seems to be one exception: visa holders with medical backgrounds and other skills that would be helpful to Australia during its time of need.

“For those backpackers in Australia who are nurses or doctors, or have other critical skills that can really help us during this crisis, then there will be opportunities for them,” Morrison said.

Morrison also mentioned some new rules for travelers holding Working Holiday Visas, who are encouraged to stay if they’re able to support themselves and are willing to assist the country’s agricultural industry through harvesting, fruit picking and other necessary farm work.

To prevent the virus from spreading to smaller, regional areas however, those interested will first be required to register through the government’s website,, and self-isolate for 14 days in their current location. Afterward, potential employers will be able to check to ensure proper precautions have been taken care of before new employees are allowed to begin working. It’s a win-win for Working Holiday Visa holders, who will now have a chance to fund their future travels, as well as for farmers, who desperately need the workers.

According to Morrison, accommodation for backpackers working on farms would also need to be up to snuff and follow the current guidelines for social distancing, adding that it would not be acceptable for several people to share a caravan or RV, as may have been a typical example of backpacker accommodation in the past. Local authorities, he said, would be working together with state, territory and federal government offices to make sure everyone was adhering to the necessary health regulations.

To be clear, this all applies to visitors and Working Holiday visa holders who are already in Australia, as all travel to the country has been restricted as of March 20, with the exception of Australian citizens, residents, New Zealand citizens who regularly reside in Australia and their immediate family members. As of March 28, you’ll still be required to undergo quarantine for 14 days even if you are allowed to enter, while each state also has its own guidelines for self-isolation following interstate travel. At the same time, Australian citizens and permanent residents are barred from overseas travel as of March 25, with very few exceptions. Travel restrictions regarding border closures and overseas travel are expected to be in place for at least six months so it’s best to check the Tourism Australia’s website for important updates if you have any trips planned to the land down under in 2020.


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hits out at Australia's 'time to go home' temporary visa advice

Jacinda Ardern has criticised the Australian government's new immigration arrangements that could see tens of thousands of Kiwis head back to New Zealand.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has criticised Australia's new ruling on temporary visa holders after acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge effectively told thousands of out-of-work foreigners "it's time to go home".

The Australian government has introduced new advice to the 2.17 million people in Australia on temporary visas, which includes 672,000 people on the New Zealand-specific 444 visa.

Many of those Kiwis will have arrived in Australia prior to 2001, which grants them access to Centrelink benefits. More will also have been in permanent, full-time or part-time work, which grants them access to the Australian government's new JobKeeper scheme.

But others in casual, insecure work or without jobs find themselves without support.

Ms Ardern, who in February criticised Prime Minister Scott Morrison for deporting criminals to New Zealand who held Kiwi passports but did not hold established links to her country, hit out at the Australian government again on Sunday.

"What (Mr Tudge would) do well to remember is that if they wish for Australia to be in a position to gear up in the aftermath of the outbreak, they now need a workforce to do that," she said from Wellington.

"New Zealanders make up that workforce.

"They, on average, earn more and pay more taxes than others. They are a key part of the Australian economy and I would have thought they wouldn't want to be so quick to lose them."

"New Zealanders make up (a portion of Australia's) health workforce and that there are some, for instance, who won't be being kept on (by employers) because they may have been involved in contractual arrangement and the health workforce and in elective services," she said.

"That, I would have thought again, would be a workforce that they would wish to keep."

The 203,000 international tourists currently visiting Australia have also been asked to leave the country.

Mr Tudge said the 118,000 people on a working holiday visa - or backpacker visa - should leave if they did not have confidence to sustain themselves for six months, with exemptions made for critical sectors. Those are health, aged and disability care, agriculture, food processing and childcare.

"Temporary visa holders who are unable to support themselves under these arrangements over the next six months are strongly encouraged to return home," Mr Tudge said in a statement on Saturday.

"For these individuals, it’s time to go home, and they should make arrangements as quickly as possible."


Australia PM Scott Morrison refuses to provide economic support to international students

Melbourne: Australia, one of the most preferred destinations for Indian students, on Friday refused to offer any economic support to international students who were unable to support themselves in the ongoing coronavirus crisis with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying the country must focus at present on its citizens and residents.

”People should know though, in particular for students, all students who come to Australia in their first year have to give a warranty that they are able to support themselves for the first 12 months of their study, Morrison said while addressing media in Canberra.

That is a requirement for their visa when they come for the first year. That is not an unreasonable expectation of the government that students would be able to fulfil the commitment that they gave,” he said.

Morrison said that the country must focus at present on its citizens and residents. “These (student) visas, and those who are in Australia under various visa arrangements, they are obviously not held here compulsorily,” he said after a National Cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders.

”If they are not in a position to support themselves then there is the alternative for them to return to their home countries. We still have quite a number of people who are here on visitor visas,” he said and also asked all international visitors to head back home in this current crisis.

“As much as it is lovely to have visitors to Australia in good times, at times like this if you’re a visitor in this country, it is time, as it has been now for some while – and I know many visitors have – to make your way home and to ensure that you can receive the supports that are available … in your home countries.”

India is the second largest source of enrolments in Australia after China with over 140,000 enrolments recorded last year. International students are allowed to work 20 hrs a week under their student visa arrangement.

A former international student Karthik Arasu who has set up a group to help support needy overseas students in Melbourne, said ”its very unfortunate international students have been left in limbo citing their visa conditions of proving they are financially fit to study in Australia….whole world was not prepared for it let alone the students.”

Another Melbourne-based former student Jasvinder Sidhu called it a blunt reaction from Morrison stating that the international students were the ones doing odd, casual and night jobs with low pay and now the government was now treating them as if they added no value.

However, Australia has relaxed restrictions for nurses or doctors or those having any other critical skills that can help in this crisis,

The prime minister said for them ”there will be opportunities … But our focus and our priority is on supporting Australians and Australian residents with the economic supports that are available.”

Major supermarkets and aged care providers are also allowed to offer more hours temporarily to international students employees.

According to official data, Last year over 956,000 enrolments were recorded in Australia.

Morrison also said anyone in Australia from overseas who wanted to work in fruit picking and other such seasonal agricultural employment would be required to self-isolate for 14 days before travelling to “another part of the country”.

He said it was to avoid a “lift up of the virus” from metropolitan areas, where it is more prevalent, to “more vulnerable” rural or regional areas.

“This is being done to ensure that those producers can get the work done but also to ensure that the communities are protected,” the Prime Minister said.

He said accommodation for workers must also adhere to strict health and social distancing requirements.

“You can’t have six backpackers in a caravan up out in rural parts of the country,” Morrison said.

“That’s not on. Not going to happen.”

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