Indian international student visa applications collapse

It’s official. New data from the Department of Home Affairs confirms that the number of offshore international student visa applications has collapsed due to COVID-19, with visas from India and Nepal most impacted:

Department of Home Affairs officials told an international education industry briefing last week that the number of students applying for visas from offshore fell to less than 5000 a month in April, May and June…

In the full 2019-20 year, student visa applications from offshore were down 33.5 per cent compared to 2018-19, with most of the loss coming from March onwards…

The Department of Home Affairs figures revealed the biggest drop was in students applying from India, which fell by over 28,000 students, or nearly half compared to the 2018-19 number.

The number of applicants from Nepal fell by 60 per cent, or over 17,000 students, compared to the previous year.

The only bright spot is students applying from China, Australia’s largest student market, dropped by only 20 per cent, or 11,000 students, in the 2019-20 year compared to the previous one…

“We now have clear evidence that international students are voting with their feet to enrol in competitor countries compared to Australia,” said the CEO of the International Education Association of Australia, Phil Honeywood.

Heavy falls are to be expected given Australia’s international border is shut to non permanent residents.

The heavy fall in Indian student visa applications is especially welcome, given COVID-19 is ravaging India. Daily new COVID-19 infections are running at 50,000 and rising, and total cases are nearing 1.5 million:

Given the lack of health infrastructure and poor rates of testing, India’s true infection rate is likely many times worse than the official data suggests.

The very last thing Australia needs is to import more cases of COVID-19 by letting in international students from virus-ridden countries.

Australia’s international border must remain shut to all but returning citizens and permanent residents. No exceptions.

Leith van Onselen
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Comments

  1. “We now have clear evidence that international students are voting with their feet to enrol in competitor countries compared to Australia,” said the CEO of the International Education Association of Australia, Phil Honeywood.
    Strange conclusion to be making. Any possibility they are just staying home. What a goose.

    • Yes these countries must be getting hit financially in a massive way just like us. Can they still get the savings of 10 different family members together to send 1 young relative to Australia, or anywhere else to study?

    • We only have evidence of that if the UK and Canada report higher numbers. Loathsome, lying turd

  2. Leith what do you think of the shenanigans with the SIV visas?

    Just one example below…. supposedly visas are given out in return for “productive” investments in Australia. Seems like these investments may not be very productive. I wonder how exactly it is determined what investments qualify for the SIV visa?

    https://www.afr.com/property/commercial/private-jets-fast-cars-leave-investors-facing-100m-wipeout-20200719-p55dcv

    https://www.afr.com/property/commercial/private-jets-fast-cars-leave-investors-facing-100m-wipeout-20200719-p55dcv

    Michael Gu’s “big break looks to have come with the introduction of the federal government’s SIV program in 2012.

    This allowed wealthy foreigners to obtain permanent residency in Australia and eventually citizenship by investing $5 million into a complying scheme for a period of five years.”

    ….

    “Mr Gu claims to have raised more than $1 billion from investors since founding iProsperity in 2010. This included about $180 million through the federal government Significant Investor Visa (SIV) program.
    …..
    Investors now fear the $180 million Mr Gu raised through the SIV program may also be lost.”

    • Shades of MessinaMEMBER

      It’s a good scheme if you are wealthy.

      Best case scenario is your $5 million makes a return and you are paid to become an Aussie citizen !.

    • Robert Johnson

      Cut out the middleman and just sell Aussie Passports for $10m each. Paid directly to the Government.

      We should also have a minimum income tax paid for each prospective citizen. I’d say $100,000 over their lifetime here before applying. $200,000 for a couple.

    • A Dickensian future is not the problem, it’s the dickheadsians like Hoj & Honeywood we need to get rid of.

  3. okradovicMEMBER

    Do you have any stats on skilled visas (i.e. the old 457 equivalent) in particular for IT/Tech industry? I suppose even if the arrival numbers are down, it does not stop companies offshoring work for remote execution. This is particularly insidious because it is largely invisible.