Visa Crunch

Australia Is Attracting International Students With New Offers, Policy Changes

With a flurry of offers, Australia is enticing Indian students, who currently make up the second-largest group of international students.

This includes removing the maximum qualifying work hours and waiving visa fees, as well as extending the post-study work visa to three years. Having its borders closed for over two years to curb COVID spread, the Australian government wants international students to come back, and it anticipates the number of Indian students to increase.

Those who arrive in Australia before March 19 will have their visa fee of 630 Australian dollars waived, according to Monica Kennedy, Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner of Austrade in Mumbai.

She stated that all visa fees for international students coming to Australia before March 19 would be repaid. While those coming to pursue Masters’ programs in metropolitan regions will have their post-study work visa extended from two to three years. It takes three to four years in non-metropolitan cities.

She stated that there is already a boom of international students arriving in Australia and that the number is likely to rise further with the additional measures outlined by Australian Prime Minister Scot Morrison.

Approximately 1.50 lakh international students now have an Australian visa. According to the Department of Education, Skills, and Employment International Student Data, 1,08,292 students received visas in 2019 and 1,48,684 in 2020, when the pandemic started. According to the estimates, 1,25,442 students will be granted visas until October 2021.

“As the year has just started, it would be too early to provide projections for 2022,” Ms Monica said while exuding confidence that the new relaxations and offers will attract a lot of students.

“An attractive option for Indian students is removing the cap of 20 hours of work per week for international students for the time being,” says Nishidhar Borra of Atlas Consultants. “The policy will be reviewed in April this year,” he said.

The country is thought to have a huge number of Indian students because it has been the second-largest among International students for the last several years.

Despite closing its borders in 2020 and for much of 2021, Australian institutions assured that academics were not hampered by holding regular classes online.

The Australian Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, estimated that the student rebate visa adjustments, along with comparable changes announced for backpackers, will cost $55 million. The government also stated that the adjustments apply to new visa applications, which will be “processed expeditiously” in order for students to visit Australia during the refund period.

According to the top organization for independent providers, the visa reimbursements and expedited visa application processing are “excellent news for international students wanting to travel to Australia in the next two months.”

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