Australia doubles student visa fees, mandates offshore applications; likely to impact Indians

Australia doubles student visa fees, mandates offshore applications; likely to impact Indians

The Australian government has doubled the visa application fees for international students from AUD 710 ($473) to AUD 1,600 ($1,068), which is approximately 89,130.29 Indian Rupees, effective July 1, Australia’s Home Affairs ministry said in a statement on its website.

The move aims to tackle the high migration levels that have strained the country’s housing market.

According to the 2023 Australian Department of Education report, China has the highest number of international students in Australia, followed by India. 

The move to double the fee would significantly affect international students.

Also Read | Australian visa crackdown hits Indian students, some universities ‘ban’ pupils

From July 1, 2024, students applying for an “Australian Student Visa” must begin their application process from outside Australia rather than within the country. Holders of specific visas, such as Visitors and Temporary Graduates, are likely to be affected as they can no longer apply for student visas while within Australia.

“Australia has a world-class education sector, one that draws international students from around the globe – so we need to make sure all students are getting the quality of education they pay for,” said Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Skills and Training, Australia.

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However, visa applications lodged before July 1 will remain unaffected by the new regulations. Working Holiday Makers and Work and Holiday visa holders are exempt from these changes. Their current visa status will not be impacted.

Australia student visa: New rules

The Australian government said that upon the expiry of their student visas, temporary graduates have to either leave the country or explore job opportunities for employer-sponsored visas or permanent residency. 

A recent “Graduates in Limbo” report by the Grattan Institute revealed that 32 per cent of Temporary Graduate Visa holders opt to return to study to extend their stay in Australia beyond the duration of their visa.

The new regulations align with the additional reforms introduced in March for temporary graduate visa holders. This means age eligibility is reduced from 50 to 35, and English language proficiency is increased.

Students aiming for education in Australia can travel to the country while awaiting their visa decision. However, they must possess or be granted a visa that permits entry and stay in Australia during that period. Offshore student visa applicants cannot apply for a Bridging visa to remain in Australia until their application is processed.

Visitor visa holders can now study only for up to three months while their visa is valid. Individuals who wish to pursue studies beyond this period must apply for a Student visa from outside Australia.

Also Read | Australian media alleges ICC ’pampered’ India in T20 World Cup

Australia student visa: Who cannot apply

Temporary Graduate, Maritime Crew, and Visitor visa subclasses are now prohibited from applying for a Student visa within the country. Specifically affected visa types include the holders of Temporary Graduate, Visitor, Electronic Travel Authority, Medical Treatment, eVisitor, and Maritime Crew visas.

Additionally, individuals possessing Temporary Work visas under the International Relations (Domestic Worker – Diplomatic or Consular) stream, Domestic Worker (Temporary) – Diplomatic or Consular), Transit, Diplomatic Temporary – (primary visa holders only) are also ineligible to file Student visa applications while in Australia.

HomeEducationnewsAustralia doubles student visa fees, mandates offshore applications; likely to impact Indians

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