12 May 2010

Australian Student Visa applications plummet after change in Australian visa regime

Overseas student applications plunged 40 per cent last month after the rapid changes to the Australian Visa regime and the country could lose out on millions of lost revenue, Australia’s peak education agent said.

Australian Student Visa

Australian Student Visa changes have already affected overseas student applications.

Tougher Australian Student Visa rules along with the uncertainty caused by the continuing delay to the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) could cost Australia at least $600 million, IDP Education chief Tony Pollock said.

"Last month, there was a significant decline in applications from India, Vietnam and China. It's a concern. If there's a 10 per cent decline over a full year - with each student adding around $30k to the economy - that would be a $600m shortfall, conservatively," he told The Australian newspaper.

China and India are currently Australia's top two source countries for the $17 billion overseas student industry.

The Australian Immigration Department has put in place stricter Australian Student Visa rules and removed incentives for overseas students to apply for a course to win residency. International students are now increasingly concerned that they will be unable to get a permanent Australian Visa after graduation and are looking at other countries for higher education.

The recent suspensions of three Australian Visa categories, even though they are not Australian Student Visa classes, and delaying the new SOL is not helping confidence, Mr Pollock said.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian Visa applications with the Australian High Commission London.   

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