Australia doubles student visa fees to curb MigrationNRI News

July 01, 2024 10:51
Australia doubles student visa fees to curb Migration

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The Australian government has introduced a significant increase in the fees for international students, more than doubling the cost from AUD 710 ($473) to AUD 1,600 ($1,068). This new measure, implemented by the Anthony Albanese government, effective July 1, aims to curb the high influx of migrants that has put pressure on the housing market. The move is likely to affect Indian students, who make up the second-largest group of international students in Australia. Additionally, temporary visa holders, such as those on Temporary Graduate, Visitor, and Maritime Crew visas, will no longer be eligible to apply for a student visa while they are in the country. This change will impact thousands of Indian students currently residing in Australia. The Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security, Clare O'Neil, stated that "The changes coming into force today will help restore integrity to our international education system, and create a migration system which is fairer, smaller and better able to deliver for Australia." The Australian government's crackdown is intended to ensure that only genuine students are granted visas, thereby supporting the country's economic growth.

The recent government data reveals a substantial influx of Indian students into Australian educational institutions. In 2022, over 100,000 Indian students were enrolled, and this number grew to 1.22 lakh during the January-September 2023 period. However, the increasing costs associated with obtaining an Australian student visa have made it significantly more expensive compared to options in the United States and Canada, where the fees are around $185 and CAD 150 ($110), respectively, as reported by Reuters.

In response, the Australian government has announced measures to close loopholes in visa regulations that allowed foreign students to extend their stay repeatedly. This decision comes after observing a surge of over 30% in the number of students holding a second or subsequent student visa, reaching more than 150,000 in the 2022–23 academic year. Additionally, the government has raised the minimum savings requirement for student visas from AUD 24,505 ($16,146) to AUD 29,710 ($19,576).

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