Australia to tighten visa rules: How it will impact Indian students, workers

Indian students are the second largest group of international students in Australia, and around 1,20,000 were enrolled in the country as of August 2023

By PTI

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Published: Mon 11 Dec 2023, 8:05 PM

Australia is undertaking futuristic reforms to its existing migration system with a greater scrutiny of antecedents of applicants. In its new migration strategy, the Australian government outlined a vision with a policy roadmap containing several key "actions" and over 25 new policy commitments and areas for future reform.

People familiar with the matter said it will not have an adverse impact on the flow of Indian students and professionals into the country. The new migration strategy will include greater scrutiny of English language proficiency.

This migration strategy was unveiled on Monday following extensive consultation with key stakeholders with an aim to fix the existing immigration system.

The broad aim of the overall strategy is to cut the annual immigration intake to around 2,50,000 in line with the number maintained during the pre-Covid time. According to reports, over 5,00,000 people came to Australia this year.

The new strategy will not adversely impact opportunities for Indian students and they would be able to work in Australia temporarily after finishing their studies as they are protected under the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA).

"Commitments agreed between India and Australia under the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI-ECTA) will be upheld under the new Migration Strategy," Australian High Commissioner Philip Green said.

"This means that Indian graduates will continue to be eligible to stay on a Temporary Graduate Visa for two years for a bachelor degree, three years for the completion of a Masters degree and four years for the completion of a PhD," he said.

"The government will continue to welcome high quality students seeking out educational opportunities in Australia. I see no reason why Indian student numbers shouldn't continue to grow," Green added.

The people cited above said the extensive scrutiny of English language proficiency is unlikely to affect Indian students as they do well on it.

Indian students are the second largest group of international students in Australia, and around 1,20,000 were enrolled in the country as of August 2023.

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