Australia doubles student visa fees to curb migration, Indians likely to be hit

The Australian government has more than doubled international student visa fees from $710 to $1,600, effective July 1, to manage record migration. Furthermore, to stop visa hopping, temporary visa holders, such as those on Graduate or Visitor visas, will no longer be able to apply for a student visa while in Australia.
Australia doubles student visa fees to curb migration, Indians likely to be hit

The Australian government has significantly increased the fees for international students, more than doubling the cost from AUD 710 ($473) to AUD 1,600 ($1,068). This latest move by the Anthony Albanese government, effective from July 1, aims to curb migration that is at an all-time high and has put pressure on the housing market.

The move is likely to hit Indian students, who form the second-biggest cohort of international students in Australia.

Furthermore, 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 Australia. This change will impact thousands of Indian students currently residing in the country.

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Australia doubles student visa fees to curb migration, Indians likely to be hit

“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,” said Clare O’Neil, Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security of Australia.

The Australian government's crackdown aims to ensure that only genuine students are granted visas, thereby supporting the country's economic growth.

Official data released in March by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed net overseas migration was 548,800 people during the year ending September 30, 2023.

According to government data, a significant number of Indian students—100,009 in 2022—were enroled in Australian institutions.

Additionally, 1.22 lakh Indian students were studying in Australia in the January-September 2023 period.

The fee increase makes applying for an Australian student visa significantly more expensive than in competitor countries like the US and Canada, where fees are approximately $185 and CAD 150 ($110), respectively, reported Reuters.

The government announced it is closing loopholes in visa regulations that allowed foreign students to repeatedly extend their stay in Australia. This decision follows a surge of over 30% in students on a second or subsequent student visa, reaching more than 150,000 in 2022–23.

The Australian government has also made changes to the savings requirement for student visas. Australia has increased the minimum savings needed for a student visa from AUD 24,505 ($16,146) to AUD 29,710 ($19,576).

Source: India Today

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