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Australia Hikes International Student Visa Fees

Australia Hikes International Student Visa Fees 

Effective July 1, Australia raised the cost of student visas for foreign nationals by a substantial amount, from A$710 to A$1,600 ($1,068).

This action is a part of the government’s larger attempts to control the extraordinary levels of migration that have put pressure on the housing market.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil emphasized that the fee adjustments are aimed at restoring integrity to Australia’s international education system and creating a more manageable migration framework.

Additionally, the government prohibits temporary graduate visa holders and those with visitor visas from applying onshore for student visas.

The need of regulatory reforms is underlined by recent official data, which showed a 60% spike in net immigration to a record 548,800 persons in the year before September 30, 2023.

In contrast, Australia’s higher visa prices place it well above other international competitors like the US and Canada, where student visa fees are roughly $185 and C$150 ($110), respectively.

The Australian government is removing loopholes that previously allowed international students to prolong their residencies indefinitely in addition to raising fees.

This follows a notable 30% rise in the number of students obtaining second or subsequent student visas, exceeding 150,000 in the 2022–23 period.

These modifications are an extension of the late-2017 policies that included stricter English language standards and higher financial requirements for visa applicants—which increased to A$29,710 ($19,823) from A$24,505 in May.

Luke Sheehy, CEO of Universities Australia, expressed concerns over the cumulative impact of these policy shifts on the country’s education sector and economy.

He cautioned that sustained pressure on international student numbers could jeopardize Australia’s economic strength, given that international education is one of the nation’s largest export industries, contributing A$36.4 billion to the economy in the 2022-2023 financial year.

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