Australian Government Doubles Visa Application Fees for International Students

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Australian Government Doubles Visa Application Fees for International Students

| Updated: July 1, 2024 19:58

The Australian government has implemented a significant change in visa application fees for international students. The fee has been doubled, increasing from AUD 710 ($473) to AUD 1,600 ($1,068). This adjustment aims to address the challenges posed by high migration levels, particularly in relation to the country’s housing market.

Impact on International Students

The fee hike is expected to have a substantial impact on international students. Those planning to study in Australia will now face higher costs during the visa application process. Previously, students could apply for an “Australian Student Visa” while already within the country, but the new regulations require them to initiate the application process from outside Australia.

China and India: Leading Sources of International Students

According to the 2023 Australian Department of Education report, China remains the top source of international students in Australia, followed closely by India. These students contribute significantly to Australia’s world-class education sector.

Exemptions and Existing Visa Holders

While the fee increase applies to new applicants, existing visa holders are not affected. Visa applications submitted before July 1 will continue under the previous fee structure. Additionally, Working Holiday Makers and Work and Holiday visa holders remain exempt from the changes.

New Rules for Temporary Graduates

Temporary graduate visa holders now face additional requirements. Upon the expiry of their student visas, they must either leave the country or explore job opportunities for employer-sponsored visas or permanent residency. A recent report by the Grattan Institute revealed that 32% of Temporary Graduate Visa holders choose to return to study, extending their stay beyond the visa duration.

Age Eligibility and English Proficiency

The new regulations align with reforms introduced in March for temporary graduate visa holders. Age eligibility has been reduced from 50 to 35 and English language proficiency requirements have been increased.

Traveling to Australia During Visa Processing

Students awaiting their visa decision can still travel to Australia. However, they must hold a visa that permits entry and stay during this period. Offshore student visa applicants cannot apply for a Bridging visa to remain in Australia while their application is processed.

Visitor Visa Holders and Study Duration

Visitor visa holders can now study for up to three months while their visa is valid. Those wishing to pursue longer studies must apply for a Student visa from outside Australia.

Ineligibility for Certain Visa Types

Several visa subclasses are now ineligible for applying for a Student visa within Australia. These include Temporary Graduate, Maritime Crew and Visitor visas. Additionally, individuals with Temporary Work visas under specific streams are also prohibited from filing Student visa applications while in the country.

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