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Australia Raises Minimum Savings Requirement for Student Visa Amid Migration Influx

Australia has raised minimum savings requirement for student Visa in a bid to address the surge in migration numbers.

Australia on Wednesday, has unveiled new measures aimed at tightening its immigration policies, including a raise in the minimum savings required for international students to obtain a visa. 

Additionally, the government issued warnings to several colleges regarding deceptive student recruitment practices, signalling efforts to address the surge in migration numbers.

Effective from Friday, international students must demonstrate savings of at least A$29,710 ($19,576) to secure their visa, marking the second hike in seven months. 

Previously set at A$24,505, the threshold was raised from A$21,041 in October last year.

These adjustments come in response to a surge in migration following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in 2022, exacerbating pressures on an already strained rental market. 

In March, the government raised English language requirements for student visas and has since moved to eliminate policies allowing students to prolong their stays.

Clare O’Neil, Minister for Home Affairs, issued warning letters to 34 educational institutions for engaging in “non-genuine or exploitative recruitment practices.” O’Neil warned that offenders could face up to two years in jail and be barred from recruiting students if found guilty.

“Dubious providers have no place in our international education sector. These measures aim to root out unscrupulous actors seeking to exploit individuals and tarnish the industry’s reputation,” stated O’Neil.

International education stands as one of Australia’s leading export industries, contributing A$36.4 billion ($24 billion) to the economy in the 2022/23 fiscal year. However, the surge in migration, largely driven by international students, has intensified pressure on the government, particularly with rental prices skyrocketing nationwide. 

Net immigration surged by 60% to a record 548,800 in the year ending Sept. 30, 2023.

The government anticipates that its policies could halve Australia’s migrant intake over the next two years.

“We are substantially reducing migration levels – this marks the most significant decline in Australia’s migration figures outside of wartime or pandemics,” remarked O’Neil.

Chioma Kalu

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