In a development that signals relief for international students who wish to study Down Under, more than half of the on-hand student visa applications to Australia have halved since the end of July 2022.
Numbers accessed by the Free Press Journal from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) show that of the applications, which have been on-hand, over 65 per cent have been on-hand for less than a month.
“ We have granted a record 165,700 offshore Student visas between June 2022 and 2 December 2022. This is 58 per cent more than levels for the same period in 2019, before the pandemic,” stated a spokesperson for the DHA.
Number of Indian students in Australia improve in 2022
The numbers are relevant considering the pandemic infused delays in visa processing which affected major study abroad destinations, including Australia who saw a drop in the number of enrollments at 7% from 2019 to 2020.
The country’s second largest group of international students, Indians also recorded a small increase as Indian students in Australia, until June 2022, stood at 52, 186 compared to 48,346 in 2021 from 63,264 students in 2020, according to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission.
DHA lays out key points for processing of student, other visas
Though the situation is similar to the pre pandemic phenomena of increasing interest in studying in Australia, visa backlogs remain a concern and is something that the DHA states they are serious about.
While highlighting that processing times can vary based on individual situations, DHA clarified the circumstances that the department considers while processing student and other visas. They are as follows:
Whether an application is complete at lodgment.
Applicant’s responsiveness to requests for additional information.
How long it takes to perform required checks on the supporting information provided.
How long it takes to receive information from external agencies. This particularly relates to health, character, and national security requirements.
“A visa cannot be granted until the Department is satisfied all requirements have been met,” the DHA spokesperson added.
Australia plans to rein in on visa delays among international students
The Australian Government also recently announced a new budget allocation of AUS$36 million, which will be used to streamline the visa application process for international students and shorten the time it takes for decisions to be made.
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