Hundreds of foreign student nurses, most of them Indians, face the threat of deportation from Australia. This follows the government's decision to raise the English language standard requirement for passing for foreign students. This arbitrary decision was taken when most of these student nurses had just completed their courses. Many of them had got job offers in Australia.
The notice of the above decision was given only on July 1, when many of the students had already graduated or were about to graduate. Those whose visas are due to expire within weeks have complained that they would have to re-apply for migration, despite many having job offers from hospitals and care homes for the aged.
The students are mainly from China, India, Philippines and Thailand.
"The students would struggle to pay back their loans on nursing salaries in India, and many had sold their homes to finance coming to Australia in the first place," the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) Victorian branch secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said. The ANF has come out in support of the nurses from abroad.