Australia has recently hiked the visa fee for international students, raising it from A$710 to A$1,600. This adjustment, effective from July 1, is intended to address the challenges posed by record migration numbers, which have added pressure to the housing market.

Moreover, recent regulations now prevent holders of visitor visas and temporary graduate visas from applying for a student visa while in Australia.

“The changes taking effect today aim to enhance the integrity of our international education system and establish a migration framework that is more equitable, streamlined, and beneficial for Australia,” stated Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil in a press release.

Official data released in March revealed a 60% surge in net immigration, reaching a record of 548,800 people in the year ending September 30, 2023. The new fee now positions Australia significantly above its competitors, with the US charging approximately $185 and Canada around C$150 ($110) for student visas.

Extending stays becomes more challenging.

In addition to increasing fees, the government is tightening regulations to limit continuous extensions for foreign students in Australia. The number of students holding a second or subsequent student visa has surged by over 30%, surpassing 150,000 in the 2022-23 period.

This action is part of a series of policy changes since late last year aimed at tightening student visa regulations. The lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in 2022 has led to a significant rise in annual migration.

In March, stricter English language requirements were implemented for these visas. In May, the minimum savings required for international students to obtain a visa was raised to A$29,710 from A$24,505, marking the second increase in less than a year.

International education is a crucial export industry for Australia, contributing A$36.4 billion to the economy during the 2022-2023 financial year. These policy adjustments could potentially affect the sector’s future resilience.

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