DIMIA mum over skilled migration

The government has met with the Australian Computer Society (ACS) to discuss the organisation's policy on skilled migration but declined to say if its recommendations would be accepted.The ACS believes DIMIA should "substantially reduce" the number of foreign ICT students who proceed to become permanent residents upon completing their studies.

The government has met with the Australian Computer Society (ACS) to discuss the organisation's policy on skilled migration but declined to say if its recommendations would be accepted.

The ACS believes DIMIA should "substantially reduce" the number of foreign ICT students who proceed to become permanent residents upon completing their studies.

Following its meeting in Canberra, the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) told ZDNet Australia&nbsp that it had a "very fruitful meeting" with the ACS, together with other commonwealth departments.

"The department receives information and views from many sources and appreciates the contributions from the ACS. We will continue to work with the ACS," a department spokesperson said.

The spokesperson refused to comment on whether it will consider the ACS as a "gatekeeper" for testing the ICT skills of 457 (temporary business long stay) visa applicants. The society is currently the accredited skills assessment body for permanent visa applications for IT professionals.

Between 2003 and January 2005, a total of 6,685 technology workers were granted 457 visas, he added.

ACS President Edward Mandla could not comment at press time.