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Australia Tightens Visa Rules: Impacts on International Students and Workers

Monday, December 11, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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Authorities have announced the tightening of visa rules for international students and low-skilled workers as part of efforts aimed at reducing its migrant intake to almost half within two years. Authorities in Australia say they want to revamp what officials called the "broken" migration system.

The new regulations would also require higher scores in English tests for international students. There would also be more scrutiny on the second visa application, meaning student stays could be extended.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil, during a media briefing, said this strategy would help in normalizing the migration numbers. The decision has followed a record peak of 510k net immigration in 2022–23, which is projected to cool down to around 250k by 2024–25 and 2025–26, coinciding with pre-pandemic levels.

Data showed the spike in immigration in 2022–23 was typically due to international students, said O'Neil. Shares of IDP Education, a company facilitating international students, fell more than 3% after the announcement.

Australia had earlier raised its migration figures against a falling birthrate to fill labour shortages because of the pandemic. But the influx of foreign workers and students has further triggered the rental catastrophe and compounded the homelessness spike.

A recent survey found that 62% of Australian voters believed the country's migration intake was too high.

Australia's Labour government wants to fast-track the arrival of highly skilled workers by implementing a special visa stream that takes just one week to apply, in a move to woo the world's best against heavy global competition. This causes Australia to undergo huge friction over managing its population.

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