|Bio||An undergraduate student who is studying his second year in Bachelor of Business. He is a migrant from Malaysia and English is his third language. He is learning and improving his English proficiency everyday by reading and listening to English materials.|
What can people on temporary visas bring to Australia?
485, 475, working holiday visas are no strangers to many of us, especially for migrant workers and international students. Many businesspeople also are familiar with these variations of visas and fully aware of the net values they can tap into by hiring them. Further, many countries around the world today can be regarded as multicultural in which you can see at least 1 out of the 10 people in major cities is of another nationality. Looking at it from a business point of view, it is a good sign. More and more tourists are visiting the country and that means money is coming into the country. Economy up. International students are everywhere in many parts of a country, from major cities to the countryside. Some argued that the Australian education system has been downgraded due to these international students, I am skeptical about that statement, but one thing for sure is the reason why the education system in Australia is highly sought after around the world is mostly because of these international students.
Let's talk about the farm works here in Australia. I remember once I read about an article that a local Aussie was looking for farm work and he had no luck with it. The reason being the farm owners are more willing to hire backpackers and people who are on working holiday visas. I am not going to dive into the reasons why this phenomenon is happening in Australia though. A lot of our migrant workers work hard and sometimes succumb to substandard living and work conditions. Of course, there are still a lot of migrant workers who have had a fantastic experience while they were here. Their hardworking attitude and the willingness to walk the extra miles so that Australians can pick up fresh and healthy vegetables and fruits on the shelves are admirable and deserve to be respected by us. If I am a farm owner, these are the workers I want to have on my farm.
Then, there are these cohorts of 475 and 485 visa holders. They are highly skilled in their chosen field and Australia needs them more than ever as we are heading into the technical and digital era. They bring highly needed skills to the workforce here and sometimes the businesses are dependent on them. And as you guessed it, they must be making a lot of money in Australia. Well, this couldn't be further from the truth. If you look upon the internet or surveys from migrant workers, they are not getting much higher than their counterparts who are Australians. Ironically, many of these visa holders are underemployed after coming to Australia in order to survive and continue working on their goals. I have seen and heard so many examples like qualified accountants and professionals working as cleaners and uber drivers in Australia as their expertise and experience from overseas were not seen valuable here. What's worst, they are the victims of exploitation on many occasions. But these are the people who are supporting our day-to-day life here in Australia.
Lastly, how about international students? What have they possibly contributed to this country? Aren't they rich and the immigration law has also clearly stated that international students must ensure they have enough funds to cover their entire course (or at least the first year) during their stay? As a university student myself, I can immediately tell you how much they have contributed to this country. First, they pay 3x more tuition fees compared to domestic students. Then, many international students are taking up part-time or casual jobs while studying. In addition to paying expensive university fees and helping the businesses to run, they are also sharing their beautiful and rich cultures with Australians. For me, this is one of those things your university won't teach you. Take a walk on Swanton Street in Melbourne CBD, you will notice how many international students are working at cafes, restaurants, and pubs serving customers. Not every international student is coming from a wealthy family, some even must work hard and save every penny to fulfil their abroad study dream. How could anyone claim that international students are not doing anything other than enjoying their university’s life here?
Above are just some of the values people on temporary visas can bring to our country. They are not asking for a passport. All they need are your respect and support when needed.