As migration rises Australia tightens regulations on student visas and increases financial requirements 

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Posted on May 9, 2024


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In an effort to control record migration, Australia announced on Wednesday that it will increase the savings required of foreign students in order to obtain a visa. It also alerted multiple universities to dishonest student recruitment methods.

The second hike in roughly seven months, overseas students will need to demonstrate proof of savings of at least A$29,710 ($19,576) in order to obtain their visa as of this Friday. In October, it was increased from A$21,041 to A$24,505.

The efforts come after a flurry of recent measures to tighten regulations surrounding student visas as the release of COVID-19 limits in 2022 caused a sudden surge in immigration, adding to the pressure on an already tight rental market.

In addition to raising the English language proficiency standards for student visas in March, the government has been moving to remove policies that let students stay longer.

Warning letters for “non-genuine or exploitative recruitment practices” had been given to 34 education providers, according to Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil. If proven guilty, she warned, they might receive a two-year prison sentence and be prohibited from recruiting pupils.
There is no room for dubious providers in our global education market. According to a statement from O’Neil, “These steps will aid in eliminating the underhand operators in the industry who aim to take advantage of people and damage the industry’s reputation.”

One of Australia’s main export sectors, international education, contributed A$36.4 billion ($24 billion) to the country’s GDP in 2022–2023.

However, the government is under pressure due to unprecedented migration, which is primarily the result of foreign students, as housing costs are rising nationwide. Up 60%, net immigration reached a record 548,800 in the year ending September 30, 2023. Over the next two years, the government anticipates that its measures may cut Australia’s immigration intake in half.

“We are in the midst of the biggest drop in migration numbers in Australia’s history, outside of war or pandemic,” O’Neil stated. “We are significantly reducing migration levels.”