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Australian Student Visa Fee Hike Proposal Triggers Debate

Australian Student Visa Fee Hike Proposal Triggers Debate

A price hike for student visas has been proposed in Australia. This measure focuses on curtailing the pressure put by international matriculators on markets. However, critics argue that reducing the number of international students will worsen the situation.

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Last month, an Australian public policy think tank, The Grattan Institute, recommended increasing the student visa application charges from AU$ 750 to AU$ 2,500 (US$497-1,656), which is essential to be paid by all applicants regardless of securing a visa.

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Since the pandemic, the number of international students in Australia has skyrocketed to more than 650,000, which doubles the count from 2012 and triples the ratio of international students to locals in the UK and Canada.

It added that this hike has elevated housing demand, raising rent by about 1% for every 100,000 newcomers due to the limited supply. As the payment of higher rents flourishes the national income, since most of the rented houses are owned by Australians, it also broadens the wealth gap. It benefits the older, wealthier homeowners while leaving the poorer, younger renters to face higher financial pressure.

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According to a statement by analysts from the Grattan Institute, the motive behind increasing the student visa fee should be to discourage those students from coming to Australia to take cheaper and low-value courses instead of applying a levy to international student fee revenues. They added that increased student visa application fees would produce some AU$1 billion a year, which could fund support for helpless renters.

Moreover, they claim that the hike in the visa fee won’t demoralize talented students from picking a top Australian university to study at, as they’d already paid an increased AU$150,000 for their bachelor’s degree.

Australia has validated new policies affecting the enrollment of international students since last year, including a hike in financial proof and stricter assessment.

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The Australian government’s official data depicted the approval rate for student visa applications as constantly above 90% between 2006 and 2022, which lowered to 86% for the 2021-2022 school year and then dropped to the record level of 81.5% for the last year.

Last October, the country witnessed about 768,000 international students, with the largest groups being from China, India, and Nepal, as stated by the Australian Department of Education. However, Vietnam stood sixth, with over 31,000 students studying in Australia.

We hope you found this information helpful. Follow our blogs for the latest updates and informative content on Australian immigration.

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