About one in five study visa applications was rejected by Australia in the first half of the fiscal year, a comparatively higher refusal rate than in the last three years. If the rates were held, around 90,000 fewer international students would come in the academic year 2023-2024.
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New Immigration Policy to Filter Out Non-Genuine Students
By the end of 2023, the international education sector was pursuing to contribute more significant export revenue to the Australian economy as compared to 2019, when it gained a record value of AUS$41 billion.
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In the latter half of 2023, the Australian government approved new policies that prevent non-genuine students from utilizing loopholes in the immigration system to enter the country intending to work under the cover of studying. According to Department of Home Affairs data, the impact is already emerging, as there were 19% study visa rejections in the first half of Australia’s fiscal year.
If that refusal rate continues, the number of study visa grants in 2023-2024 will fall by 91,715 compared to 2022-23, when 577,295 visas were granted, depicting a 15% reduction.
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Let’s have a comparison:
- 10% of visa refusals in 2018-19
- 5% refusals in 2021-22
- 14% refusals in 2022-23
Certain other elements that control Australia’s international sector now include:
- Higher English-language requirements
- Involving additional scrutiny of high-risk applications
- Cracking down on unscrupulous education providers
- Strengthening the student visa integrity unit in the Department of Home Affairs to minimize the abuse of Australia’s student visa system
- Escalating requirements for international education providers
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The additional scrutiny impels higher visa refusal rates as immigration officials now use more tools to filter out non-genuine students. A Department of Home Affairs spokesperson said they have witnessed rising integrity concerns across the student visa program.
They encountered higher levels of fake documents, fraud related to English language testing, non-genuine claims and non-genuine subsequent marriages in student visa applications. Additionally, all non-genuine visa applications will be refused where regulatory requirements are not fulfilled and fraud is detected.
Education Minister Jason Clare remarked that the Albanese government’s migration strategy and the additional measures we’ve integrated clearly portray our actions to prevent the students’ exploitation and protect Australia’s reputation as a high-quality international education provider.
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