Australia Visa Fees Hike: Decision To Affect Int’l Students From Next 2025-26

Australia Visa Fees Hike: Decision To Affect Int’l Students From Next 2025-26

While the move intends to control migration and lighten the housing market’s stress, it can make Australia a more expensive education destination.

Simple VishwakarmaUpdated: Monday, July 08, 2024, 10:02 AM IST
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In its bid to control immigration, Australia has hiked the visa application fee from $710 to $1,600. However, as most universities have closed their admissions for the current academic year, they believe the visa fee hike won’t affect their students.

According to Australian Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil, the increase is expected to help the government control immigration and lighten the stress on the property market. 

Impact on current and future students

Indian students currently studying in Australia The Free Press Journal (FPJ) spoke to, have shared their diverse views on this visa fee hike. 

Harsh Nathani is pursuing a postgraduation in economics at the University of Melbourne. Speaking to the FPJ, Nathani highlighted that getting into an Australian university and studying in the country is already quite expensive, the increase in the visa fees amid this will only increase the burden on the students.

“I got my visa a month before I flew so the Delhi to Melbourne ticket cost me Rs 90,000…If you are applying via agencies, then you don’t have to pay any application fees. I didn’t pay any application fees. I had applied to Monash University, University of Melbourne and Campus Life, which cost me around Rs 125,000,” Nathani told the FPJ.“It additionally costs me around Rs 120,000 to Rs 125,000 a month to live here. Not to forget, I paid quite a bit for coaching for the GRE and there were the exam fees too,” he added.

Shiv Bhardwaj, who completed his studies at the University of Sydney, believes that studying in Australia is quite a challenge in itself and the increase in visa fees is quite an issue.

“I spent $700 for my flight, then the campus cost was $300. So it is anyway expensive to study in Australia,” Bhardwaj told the FPJ.

While both Nathani and Bhardwaj believe that the rise in the visa fee is significant, they hope that it doesn’t deter genuine students from pursuing education in Australia.

“One has to pay some cost to be part of what’s coming next... The increase in (visa) fees is just to eliminate all those fake or unworthy applicants from the application process,” Nathani highlights.

Ravi Veeravalli from Star Global Education Alliance, who deals with immigration issues, says that genuinely interested people will not go to any other country apart from Australia. 

According to Veeravalli, “International students will still prefer Australia, especially for fields like cybersecurity, business analytics, hospitality, and various engineering subjects. Australia's reputation remains strong.”

Net migration increase

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports cited by the local media, net migration increased by 60% to a record 548,800 persons in the year ending in September 2023. 

The government has responded to this immigration surge by issuing policies such as an increase in the cost of student visas. Australia is now perceived as a more costly country for international students to study than places like the U.S. and Canada, where visa costs are roughly $185 and $110, respectively.

A new education plan by the government unfurled in late 2023 called for tighter English language proficiency standards for temporary graduate and student visas, as well as the creation of a new visa specifically for people with in-demand talents.

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