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Reprieve for international students facing deportation

The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia has reversed its decision to deny registration to new international nursing graduates.

Hundreds of international nursing students caught in the transition to national registration are no longer facing deportation following the decision by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia to accelerate their registration.

Some 400 international nursing students who recently completed their TAFE and university nursing courses had been refused registration because they did not meet the new English standard introduced on 1 July.

Overseas qualified registered nurses, undertaking a short course to have their qualifications recognised in Australia, were also affected.

Many of the students, from China, India and the Philippines, were facing deportation when their student visas expire at the end of the month and were prevented from taking up job offers following their graduation.

The NMBA said it will accelerate the registration process for affected students and has committed to comprehensively review the language requirements for registration.

The affected students will now have to meet the new English standard by 31 May 2011 or again face being denied registration.

However, the ANF (VIC Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said students graduating at the end of the year will also be under significant time pressure to undertake additional language tutoring and testing to meet the new requirements.

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