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Australia student visa: Indians to hit as Australia tightens student visa requirements amid migration surge

Tighter visa regulations, alleged discriminatory practices and broader strain on resources have contributed to a decline in number of international students entering Australia since 2023

Written by  Jasleen Kaur -- May 08th 2024 03:04 PM
Australia student visa: Indians to hit as Australia tightens student visa requirements amid migration surge

Australia student visa: Indians to hit as Australia tightens student visa requirements amid migration surge

Australia student visa update: The Australian government, led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, has recently announced substantial changes to visa requirements for international students, potentially impacting Indian students intending to study in Australia.

Under these new regulations, international students must now demonstrate proof of savings amounting to at least AUD29,710 ($19,576) in order to qualify for a student visa. This marks the second increase in the required savings within the past seven months, with the amount rising by $3,430 from its previous level of AUD24,505 ($16,146).

These adjustments come amidst a surge in migration and growing concerns regarding fraudulent practices in student recruitment. The Albanese government has been implementing various measures to tighten the process of obtaining student visas, including raising the required International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score. The recent rise in the proof of savings requirement follows a previous increase in October, elevating the threshold from AUD21,041 to AUD24,505.

Australia's intensified scrutiny of student visas, part of a broader effort to reduce annual immigration by half, has particularly impacted Indian students. Allegations of targeted visa refusals directed at Indian applicants have raised concerns about potential strains on bilateral relations. Notably, visas granted to Indian students experienced a sharp decline of 48% between December 2022 and December 2023, according to reports.

Despite these challenges, India remains the second-largest source country for international student enrollments in Australia, with approximately 122,000 Indian students studying in the country between January and September 2023.

In addition to tightening visa regulations, the Australian government is also cracking down on education providers suspected of engaging in fraudulent recruitment practices. Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil has issued warning letters to 34 education providers for alleged "non-genuine or exploitative recruitment practices." These providers could face severe penalties, including imprisonment and a ban on recruiting students, if found guilty.

Minister O'Neil stressed the importance of eliminating unscrupulous operators from the international education sector, stating that such actions aim to safeguard the sector's integrity and reputation.

Australia's international education sector is a significant contributor to the economy, generating AUD$36.4 billion ($24 billion) in revenue during the 2022/23 financial year. However, the surge in migration, driven primarily by international students, has strained various resources, particularly rental markets, across the country.

The record levels of migration have placed considerable pressure on the Australian government. Net immigration surged by 60% to a record 548,800 individuals in the year leading up to September 30, 2023. Consequently, the government has faced mounting challenges in managing migration levels effectively.

Tighter visa regulations, coupled with alleged discriminatory practices and the broader strain on resources, have contributed to a decline in the number of international students entering Australia since 2023. The government anticipates a significant reduction in migrant intake over the next two years, reflecting its commitment to addressing the current challenges in the immigration system.


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