Australia Raises Minimum Financial Requirement For International Student Visa, Warns On Fake Recruitment

Australia Raises Minimum Financial Requirement For International Student Visa, Warns On Fake Recruitment

Effective immediately, prospective international students have to show savings of at least A$29,710 ($19,576) to qualify for a visa.

Siksha MUpdated: Thursday, May 09, 2024, 02:33 PM IST
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Australia Raises Minimum Financial Requirement For International Student Visa, Warns On Fake Recruitment | Representational Image

Australia has announced a hike in the financial savings for foreign student visas, a significant step towards regulating rising migration and addressing concerns about student exploitation. 

Financial requirements for prospective international students

Effective immediately, prospective international students have to show savings of at least A$29,710 (₹ 16,31,446) to qualify for a visa. This adjustment is the second rise in seven months, the first being in October of last year, when it was raised from A$21,041 (₹ 11,55,411) to A$24,505 (₹13,45,627).

Government response to immigration surge

These changes align with larger initiatives to strengthen laws connected to student visas, which have been prompted by an increase in immigration when COVID-19 limitations were loosened in 2022. The burden this has placed on Australia's rental industry has highlighted the necessity of regulatory action. The government increased the English language competency standards for student visas in March, and ever since then, it has been taking steps to prevent lengthy stays that are made possible by regulatory gaps.

Addressing exploitative recruitment practices

Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neill issued warning letters to 34 schools over alleged “non-genuine or exploitative recruitment practices." Minister O'Neil said, "Dodgy providers have no place in our international education sector," emphasising the possibility of harsh penalties being imposed on institutes found guilty of wrongdoing. These steps will aid in eliminating the industry's bottom feeders who want to take advantage of others and destroy the industry's reputation." 

According to media reports, Australia's economy is heavily dependent on international education, which was valued at A$36.4 billion ($24 billion) in the fiscal year 2022–2023. However, the nation's rental costs have increased due to the swift migration wave, which is mostly being caused by overseas students. According to official figures, net immigration increased by 60% to a record 548,800 persons in the year that ended September 30, 2023.

The administration plans to drastically lower migration rates in response, aiming to cut the current inflow in half over the following two years. Minister O'Neil stated, "We are significantly reducing migration levels - we are in the middle of the biggest drop in migration numbers in Australia's history, outside of war or pandemic."

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