Student Visa Delays to Australia
Australian Red Scarf (澳洲红领巾)
10 March 2018

The following is a translated excerpt of a WeChat (微信) post by Australian Red Scarf (澳洲红领巾), a media platform which covers Australian life style issues and interesting topics for international students:

Urgently revealed! Personal Prospective Of Students: The Australian government is destroying the future of China’s top talent!

Since May last year, hundreds of doctoral students and visiting scholars who received state sponsorship or scholarships have immediately applied to go to Australia, where they have received admission notices and invitations from many prestigious schools. They go there to continue their doctoral studies and research projects with well-known instructors and research teams, so that they can make greater contributions to the development of their home country when they return.

It is unimaginable that in March of 2018, half a year later, these outstanding students who have worked hard to win state funding and scholarship awards through their strenuous efforts have not only failed to travel to Australia, but also that their state funding is threatened…

Abnormal Delays

Why has this strange visa delay problem arisen on the Australian side?

One thing worth noting is that the students and scholars who are caught in this visa trap are all engaged in research in the fields of science and engineering.  These include electronics engineering, materials, machinery, robotics, microbiology, biochemistry, optics, lasers, physics, computers (oriented toward machine learning), chemistry, chemical engineering, thermoelectric refrigeration, metallurgy, and immunology.

However, being able to obtain national sponsorship or “full scholarships” from Australian schools naturally proves the strength of these students in these fields. Therefore, the admission by many of Australia’s most famous universities—in contrast to the indifference and delays by their national government—is very much concerned with whether these outstanding Chinese people will be able to further their studies.

In the past half a year, these Australian schools have applied for an extension of time for the students and scholars to start school. On the one hand, they have also continued to communicate with their national government and asked Australian officials to approve Chinese students’ visas as soon as possible.

Oddly enough, the official answers received by these Australian universities are almost exactly the same as the responses received by Chinese students. They are a single word: “wait” and there is no “timetable”.

This also left the school without any alternative. One student who was ensnared by the visa problem told Yan Zhige that the Australian school even ridiculed on the Australian government in an email sent to him. He said that there are about 20 doctoral students in the schools’ engineering department who are still facing visa issues…

Some students also suspect that the Australian government is interested in the suppression of doctoral and masters degree students in science and engineering, because students who went to study non-science and engineering majors, especially those studying for undergraduate and masters degrees at their own expense, were at the same time quickly granted a visa. Those having a problem are those studying for a Ph.D. or Master’s degree in science and engineering who have a full scholarship or are funded by the Chinese government.

Students’ suspicions are not without reason. After all, in the past two or three years, Australia’s mainstream media, such as Australian Radio Television, Australian News Corporation  and Australia’s Fairfax Media Group, have been constantly making remarks on the “China threat theory.” Some extremely irresponsible persons have repeatedly labelled overseas Chinese students as “spies”, accusing them of “stealing Australian technology” without any evidence, and saying that this is “China’s infiltration of agents into Australian”.

Hopefully, more media exposure will allow everyone to recognise some of the government’s actual actions and it is hoped that the Australian government will not further waste the time of Chinese students!

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 19 March 2018

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