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Overseas Health Insurance News: Visas extended for finishing students in Australia

Expatriates studying in Australia can now stay for longer after finishing their studies under new rules applied to the visa process.

Despite the country clamping down on the length of stay for other foreigners, authorities are keen to keep top talent in the country.

Previously graduating students were entitled to stay in Australia for up to 18 months after leaving university to gain relevant work experience, but this has now been extended to four years.

The graduate skilled visa scheme then allows those who complete the period of experience to convert their visa into permanent residency and work in the country.

In order to take advantage of this new procedure, students must apply within six months of graduating from university and will have their skills assessed to ensure they are appropriate for the scheme.

Australia is a popular destination for expats with more than a million Brits having made the move Down Under, but it remains highly competitive.

Even through the economic downturn that has impacted much of the world Australia has continued to thrive and represents a high standard of living for its residents.

It is thought that this latest amendment to visas for graduates will lead to an increased number of people applying to Australian universities with a view to staying in the country permanently.

Australia's immigration department has already seen more applications for student visas since it streamlined the system for applying for this type of entry documentation.

Phil Honeywood, executive director of the International Association of Australia, said: "Australia has also been the beneficiary of a recent push against student visas being approved in the UK and the US. We're now seeing much more skills-focused student visa applications."

Students are not the only demographic of society to benefit from changes to Australia's visa policy; those carrying out highly specialised work can now get a short-stay visa and a medical treatment visa allows for 12 months in the country.

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