International students bubble to pop after permanent visa reforms

In March, the Morrison Government announced that it had cut Australia’s non-humanitarian permanent migrant intake by 30,000 to 160,000 for the next four years. The Government also announced that it would re-weight the permanent skilled intake away from independent visas toward employer sponsored visas.

According to Dr Bob Birrell from the Australian Population Research Institute, these changes will make it much harder for international students to obtain permanent residency, thereby reducing their incentive to choose Australia as their study destination:

This year the number of skilled independent visas will be slashed by 16,000 to 18,652.

There will be 23,000 skilled regional visas, as well as about 25,000 places for nomination by states and territories which will mainly involve regional settlement.

A further 30,000 skilled visas will be employer sponsored…

Australian Population Research Institute director Dr Bob Birrell said the program had been rebalanced to employer sponsorship, which meant matching skills with the jobs available…

Dr Birrell said the rebalanced program and tougher points test meant bad news for thousands of overseas students trying to stay here permanently after their studies…

“The points they need to get an invitation to apply have gone up sharply. They’ll have to find other routes like finding employers to sponsor them or states to sponsor them,” he said.

“On the one hand the government is still insisting that the overseas student industry is a high priority industry which they’ve bent over backwards to facilitate”…

“On the other hand they’re changing the selection system which will make it more difficult for students who finish here to get permanent residence.”

The impact will be most detrimental on student flows from India and Nepal – Australia’s second and third biggest source nations – who are more inclined to study in Australia as a pathway to achieving permanent residency.

We should also acknowledge that Australia is facing stiffer competition from other nations, like the United Kingdom and Canada, which are seeking to grow their international student industry.

Last month, the United Kingdom announced that it would match Australia and extend its post-study work visa from four months currently to two years, as illustrated in the next chart:

In a similar vein, Canada is aggressively courting international students by marketing more heavily overseas and relaxing visa requirements.

To add further insult to injury, there are increasing concerns surrounding university entry and teaching standards. These came to the fore in May’s Four Corners’ “Cash Cows” report, which fingered students from the Indian Sub-continent as being key culprits in the decline of university entry and teaching standards.

As a result, Australia’s tertiary education sector is now under increased pressure to raise standards and be more discerning about which international students they take. This should limit the flow on Indian and Nepalese students going forward, other things equal.

At the end of the day, Australia has no natural competitive advantage in education. Rather, the key drawcard to choosing Australia is its generous working rights and easier pathway to permanent residency, as well as our lax entry standards.

Accordingly, Australia’s international student industry has morphed into an unsustainable bubble built on declining standards and overly generous visa arrangements. It is now rigged to blow.


  1. I bet a lot of employees in the immigration dept are vibrants and they make sure their own get to the top of the pile no matter what

    Also who cares about pr when u can recycle from on visa to another and never go home

    And about time Medicare cards have biometrics and photos on them to stop endemic fraud in ethnic communities

    • As long as we keep calling them ‘vibrants’ maybe we could make up some slogans and print them on some cute red hats

    • Some Korean students where telling me the just renew their student visas to study other things, many work full time I think using the money to pay for more visas. Same in nz I believe. Looks like all western countries accept the US are getting into this, because our economy’s are broken.

  2. Ronin8317MEMBER

    ‘Employer sponsored’ will become the new immigration scam. The ‘reform’ means more migrants will soon be paying the employer to work to get their PR, thus achieving the ultimate goal of capitalism.

    • Absolutely, new business models will emerge of fake companies sponsoring for jobs that don’t exist.

    • That’s right, why does PR really matter when they can stay on temp visas of different sorts virtually for ever

  3. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Let’s hope not as international students make our economy strong. I trust that the government will step in to make sure their numbers are boosted not lessened.

    • The international boom is now mostly Indian and Nepalese who tend to be 85% male.
      At least the Chinese students had a more balanced gender distribution.

      • reusachtigeMEMBER

        That’s ok because there’s a lot of fat and ugly Aussie chicks and this means they can now find a partner of sorts. Of course it means more incels but even the ugly chicks don’t really want to settle for that lot.

  4. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Perhaps if Straya wants to flood itself with Chinese ,Indians and Nepalese then perhaps among the Nepalese they might include a few regements of Gurkha
    …….might come in handy in the future ………

  5. Sept 2019. The Trump administration announced today that it will allow no more than 18,000 refugees into the country, setting the lowest cap for asylum seekers since the US established its refugee program in 1980.

    USA population 327 million
    18,000 refugees yearly
    1 refugee for every 18,166 people.

    Australia population 25 million
    Last year in 2018 – 24,162 refugees.
    ‘Australia accepted more refugees to its shores last year than any year since it began a dedicated humanitarian migration program.New statistics from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection – now part of the home affairs portfolio – revealed 24,162 refugees arrivals in Australia last financial year
    1 refugee for every 1,034 people in Australia.

    18 x times the US rate of refugees per pop.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Does the number of refugee accepted even matter when there is no wall at the US/Mexico border?

      • 18,000 a year lets them take in potentially useful foreign nationals and their families. They need it at a basic level.

        Eg. create a civil war in a country, parachute in a lackey refugee/political prisoner that you’ve been grooming for decades.

      • The US is changing their asylum laws. Trump win in their Supreme Court.
        The flood of criminal illegals seeking asylum via Mexico’s US border points will reduce as they can’t claim US asylum when in Mexico, or flying in from a previous point of transit valid as an asylum claim.

        Trump also has funding for the wall in physically stopping the criminal illegals who breach / enter illegally with no asylum claim.
        Again winning in the courts.

        This is what he campaigned on and why he got a ECV majority of 57% in the 2016 election.

        At some point in the future, after Trump has won the 2020 election on exactly the same core issue – there will be the roundup and deportation or amnesty for the 11 million criminal illegals already in the US.

        US pop 327 million & 11 million criminal illegals is a ratio of 1 illegal migrant to every 29 US citizens.

        Of course in our alternate world of Australia we actively invite & encourage the migrant trafficking.

        As a compare in Australia we have 21.5 million citizens and another 3.5 million PR or TR / SCV onshore.
        Of that 3.5 million – well over 2.5 million are third world ‘pseudo legal’ third world migrants on pretext visas and in various degrees of visa breach.
        So 2.5 million third world migrant guestworkers in visa breach to 21.5 million Australian actual citizens is a ratio of 1 third world migrant guestworker to every 8.5 Australian citizens. (US was 1 to 29 citizens)

        So Australia on any measure is 3.5 x more overloaded with migrants and migrants in visa breach than the US.

        -> Australia has basically destroyed itself in uncontrolled very low quality migrant intake..
        Plus the huge additional burden of 2.5 million third world migrant guestworkers on so called temporary visas which are really semi permanent forever access into Australia.

        Look at the stats.
        1.9 million PR in the last decade. 70% were unskilled, 78% welfare dependent, a useless non assimilating & non contributing inter generational burden for decades to come.
        86% or 1.6 million in their Sydney & Melbourne ghettoes.

        Then add on an additional 2.561 million third world migrant guestworkers on pretext TR / SCV visas plus another 440,000 tourist visitors working illegally & 65,000 Overstayers.
        All up – thats 5 million non Australians foreign nationals onshore. 1 in 5 people.

        Packed into Sydney and Melbourne in vast fetid migrant only slums that stretch from horizon to horizon.

        An entire Hukou underclass of 1.3 million Chinese internal illegals trafficked in.
        Plus another 1 million or so of the Indian rural & slum clearance, whole Nepalese villages, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Malay, North Asian – all the absolute bottom of the barrel.

        Your average Honduran or Guatemalan criminal illegal in the US would rate much higher in quality than what we let in.

          • .)
            A Darwinian challenge or experiment of flooding an advanced high standard of living western country with third world amoral unskilled & non assimilating slum clearance – to live & work illegally until the target (Australia) is destroyed by osmosis?
            Wages falling
            Standard of living falling
            Environmental overload
            Lower gdp per Capita
            Health and welfare system failing under the crippling blows of migrant overload
            Education system destroyed
            Housing bubble but everyone is poor
            Sydney & Melbourne converted into vast migrant guestworkers encampments – Mumbai meets Dhaka meets Cairo.
            Yep that’s the ‘adaption’
            Keep lowering your expectations.