Visa Crunch

On Their Return to Australia, International Students May Have to Pay Extra For Accommodation

From December onwards, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared that completely immunized international students would be allowed to return to Australia without a visa.

Both international students and the education sector greeted the announcement with open arms. Furthermore, reports predict that, as a result of the reopening of borders, the cost of accommodation in Australia could increase. Two Indian students who have been accepted into New South Wales’ pilot program and will travel to Australia in December told Indian Link news that cost is becoming a key concern affecting their preparations.

Following PM Morrison’s declaration of the country’s border reopening, Abhishek Rupapara, a postgraduate student of architecture at the University of Sydney, claims that accommodation in Australia has increased. “We were quite happy when our pilot plane tickets were booked and had looked up accommodation prices immediately. It was around $250 for a room per week. Two days later, after borders reopened, the prices went up to around $450 for the same room,” he elaborated.

The matter has been brought to the attention of the Council of International Students Australia (CISA). International students are faced with pricey housing upon their return to Sydney, according to National President Oscar Zi Shao Ong.

The education industry, according to Ong, was caught off guard by the government’s abrupt declaration. He was quoted as adding, “We recognize that situations change, but this is simply too expensive.”

Meanwhile, the Australian Financial Review recently noted that once internal and international borders reopen, rental costs in Australia are projected to rise. This is attributable to a combination of factors, including Australia’s interstate migration; the return of immigrants and international students will also put pressure on all of the country’s cities.

“We’ve had a lot [of focus] on house price affordability, but rental affordability is going to become a really big issue,” JLL’s senior director of Australia research, Leigh Warner, told The Australian Financial Review. “People are going to be in housing distress. There’s no question about it over the next few years.”

He added: “Obviously some people will be cheering rental growth, but I feel like we’re heading into a period over the next couple of years where rental affordability is going to become a real issue nationally. Rents are going up enormously and there are social consequences of that.”

More than 200,000 overseas students will be able to return to Australia without a visa starting next month after the country closed its borders to them in March.

On Monday, November 22, 2021, Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the formal announcement. On Sunday, the country reached over 85% double-dose vaccination rates for adults over the age of 16, putting it in the final stages of its reopening plan.

From as early as December 1, 2021, eligible skilled migrants and refugees are likely to return to Australia. As per PM Morrison, this “important milestone” in Australia’s return to normalcy will take place “from December 1.”

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