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Australia Announces New Visa Policy for International Students and Workers

Australia Announces New Visa Policy for International Students and Workers

In an attempt to fix what officials call a “broken” migration system, the Australian government has introduced new visa rules with the aim of cutting migrant intake by half in the next two years.

As part of these changes, international students will face increased scrutiny and higher standards. English proficiency tests will play a more significant role, requiring students to achieve superior ratings. The evaluation process for second visa applications will also be more rigorous, potentially extending their stay.

Key Points of the New Visa Rules for International Students:

  1. International students must attain higher scores on English proficiency tests to qualify for visas.
  2. Stricter checks will be applied to students seeking visa extensions.

Clare O’Neil, the Home Affairs Minister, emphasized the broader impact of these changes, stating, “Our strategy will bring migration numbers back to normal. This is about Australia’s future, not just the current state of migration.”

Fast-Track for Highly Skilled Workers: As part of the reforms, the Australian Labor government aims to expedite entry for highly skilled workers compared to low-skilled workers. A specialized visa for highly skilled workers is set to be introduced, with an exceptionally short processing time of one week. This move aims to help businesses attract top-tier talent amidst fierce competition with other developed economies.

Also Read: Canada Announces Much Harder New Visa Policy for Students and Workers

Reasoning and Impact: Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil emphasized the goal of “bringing migration numbers back to normal,” focusing on long-term benefits for Australia’s future. The government argues that the influx of migrants has strained infrastructure, particularly housing, leading to increased homelessness. A recent survey revealed that 62% of Australians believe the current migration intake is too high.

Opposition Concerns: In response to the reforms, Conservative opposition leader Peter Dutton expressed concerns about the scale of the migration program. He highlighted issues such as congested cities, strained infrastructure, and the inability to keep up with demand. Dutton advocated for a reduction in immigrant numbers, emphasizing the need to address challenges associated with Australia’s growing population.

The Australian government’s migration reforms aim to strike a balance between long-term economic needs and immediate challenges such as housing affordability and infrastructure strain. While these changes may impact international students and low-skilled workers, they also aim to attract and retain top talent through expedited visa processing. Staying informed about the latest developments and carefully reviewing updated visa requirements is crucial before making any travel plans.