< Australia Tightens Visa Rule for Foreign Students
By Hai Do
26 March 2024

Australia will soon begin enforcing stricter visa rules for foreign students. The move comes as official data showed migration hit another record high.

The new rules took effect on March 23. The rules will increase English language requirements for student visas.

The new rules will also give the government the power to suspend education providers from recruiting international students if they repeatedly break rules.

FILE - Students walk past stalls during the orientation week at The University of Sydney, in Camperdown, Australia February 15, 2023. (REUTERS/ Stella Qiu/File Photo)
FILE - Students walk past stalls during the orientation week at The University of Sydney, in Camperdown, Australia February 15, 2023. (REUTERS/ Stella Qiu/File Photo)

"The actions this weekend will continue to drive migration levels down while delivering on our commitments in the migration strategy to fix the broken system we inherited," Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil said in a statement.

A new "genuine student test" will be introduced to block international students who look to come to Australia for work reasons instead of education reasons. The government will also enforce "no further stay" conditions on visitor visas.

The moves follow several actions last year to end COVID-era exceptions introduced by the former government. Those rules included unrestricted working hours for international students.

Australia increased its yearly migration numbers in 2022 to help businesses deal with worker shortages caused in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic brought strict border controls and kept foreign students and workers out for nearly two years.

But the sudden increase of foreign workers and students has worsened pressure on an already tight rental market. Demand for rental housing across Australia was already higher than the supply of available housing.

Australia's Department of Education says there were more than 567,000 international students in the country as of January 2024. That is a 26 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Almost all of the international students in Australia come from Asia. The top five countries are China, India, Nepal, the Philippines and Vietnam. That information comes from Australia's Department of Education.

Overall, Australia's population rose 2.5 percent - the fastest increase on record - to 26.8 million people last year.

The record migration has expanded the labor supply and reduced pressures to raise wages.

O'Neil, the Home Affairs Minister, said the government's actions since September have led to a drop in migration levels. She added that recent international student visa approvals were down by 35 percent compared to the year before.

I'm Dan Novak.

Hai Do adapted this story for VOA Learning English based on reporting by Reuters.


Words in This Story

strict -adj. more demanding

recruit - v. to find suitable people for something

inherit - v. to have to deal with ( a situation or problem...) when you take a position

genuine - adj. actual, real

era - n. a period of time associated with an event

tight - adj. low in supply

rental - n. something that is available to use in return for payment

网站首页 电脑版 回到页首