Monday, July 15, 2024

Australia raises foreign student visa fee in effort to reduce migration

Australia Doubles Visa Fee for International Students, Tightens Rules for Migration

Australia Doubles Visa Fees for International Students

Australia announced on July 1 that it has more than doubled the visa fee for international students, in a move aimed at curbing record migration that has put pressure on the housing market.

Effective immediately, the international student visa fee has increased to AUD1,600 ($1,068) from AUD710. Additionally, visitor visa holders and students with temporary graduate visas are now banned from applying onshore for a student visa.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil stated, “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 rise in fees now makes applying for a student visa to Australia significantly more expensive compared to other countries like the U.S. and Canada, where visa costs are much lower.

This latest move follows a series of actions taken since late last year to tighten student visa rules as COVID-19 restrictions eased in 2022, leading to a surge in migration levels. English language requirements were tightened in March, and the savings required for a visa were raised in May.

Universities Australia CEO Luke Sheehy expressed concerns over the government’s continued policy pressure on the sector, stating that it could jeopardize the country’s economic position as international student fees play a vital role.

International education is a significant export industry for Australia, contributing billions to the economy annually. The government’s efforts to restrict student visas reflect its aim to control migration levels and maintain the integrity of the education system.

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