Australia to get tough on student visas

Australia is set to implement stricter visa regulations for foreign students starting this week, it is reported. According to foreign media, the move is aimed at addressing record-high migration figures that are adding pressure to the country’s rental market. From Saturday, English language requirements for student and graduate visas will be increased.

Meanwhile, the government will get the power to suspend education providers from recruiting international students if they repeatedly break the rules.In a statement, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said the actions this weekend will continue to drive migration levels down while delivering on commitments to the migration strategy to fix the broken system they inherited.

A new “genuine student test” will also be introduced to further crack down on international students who look to come to Australia primarily to work. The government says the imposition of “no further stay” conditions will also be used on more visitor visas. The moves follow a raft of actions last year to close off COVID-era concessions introduced by the former government, including unrestricted working hours for international students. Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday shows net immigration rose 60% to a record 548,800 in the year to Sept. 30, 2023, higher than the 518,000 people in the year ending June 2023.