Scheme Eases Immigration

Scheme eases immigration

Fran Foo
The Australian
July 15, 2008

A FEDERAL Government scheme to help technology graduates from overseas become permanent residents is expected to have 200 participants by the end of the year.

In May, federal education and immigration agencies, in conjunction with the Australian Computer Society, launched the one-year program that, upon completion, will enable up to 10 points to be awarded under the general skilled migration points test.

Five higher education institutions, including Victoria's Monash and Swinburne universities, offer the course, dubbed Professional Year (PYear), and set the fees individually. Monash, for example, charges $12,300.

ACS chief executive Kim Denham said 30 students had signed up for PYear and the organisation hoped to have all states represented by the end of the year.

“Take-up has been very encouraging and we're expecting 200 people to sign up by the end of this year,” Ms Denham said.

PYear includes a 12-week internship with a local firm and workplace preparation skills covering culture and work ethics.

To qualify, students must have spent at least 24 months in Australia completing a university technology course. They would qualify automatically for ACS membership.

PYear has been especially appealing to technology graduates from India and China.