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Monday, April 22, 2024

Student Visas: An Overview – Visa Solutions Australia

Holders of a study visa were able to work up to 20 hours a week before Covid-19. During the Covid-19 pandemic, these working restrictions were relaxed and will remain so until 30th June 2023. Working restrictions will revert to the 48 hours per fortnight from 1st July 2023.

How many student visas are granted in Australia per year?

There is no cap on the number of student visas granted. The first half of the 2022/23 program year saw 283,573 student visas granted. On 31st December 2022, there were 456,970 student visa holders in Australia which equated to an increase of 44.6% when compared to the figures on 31st December 2021.

Australia’s student visa program experienced a blow back in 2020 when the Australian government told temporary visa holders to leave Australia as they prepared to close borders in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s now reported that study visa applications could soar past pre-pandemic levels.

Where do international students come from?

International students come from all over the world including from countries such as China, India, Nepal, Philippines and Columbia, to name a few. In pre-pandemic times, Chinese students made up a large part of the international student cohort, it has since been surpassed by India. According to SBS News, 44,000 student visa applications were received from India in the last six months of 2022 compared to China’s 38,700.

What makes an Australian education attractive to overseas students?

While many students look forward to embracing Australia’s great education system, a lot of these students are also choosing Australia because it offers a better standard of living and campus environment. But is that the only reason?

Recently, it came to light in the media that a lot of international students are potentially scamming the student visa system. It has been reported that some overseas students, many of which are from India, have applied and been granted a student visa based on being enrolled in a relevant course or in some cases by submitting fraudulent documentation, solely to gain a pathway to permanent residence in Australia. Once a student visa holder is in Australia, there is nothing to stop them from downgrading their course, so they have minimal study requirements allowing them to work more. Being in Australia makes it easier for visa holders to apply for permanent residence.

This isn’t a new thing. Where pre-Covid this was happening about 10% of the time, it is now happening in about 70% of instances. The Australian government and higher education sector are concerned about how this will impact the integrity of Australia’s immigration system. A parliamentary inquiry into international education was set to begin in mid-April.

While there may seem to be some negativity surrounding student visas, there are also many benefits to international students and Australia when these visas are used for the purpose intended.

If you would like to learn more about student visas or any other aspect of migration, contact the team at Visa Solutions Australia. Book a consultation.

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