Thousands of Indian, Nepali and Sri Lankan students have had their requests for Australian student visas from vocational to higher education declined.
The international students’ visa success rates for vocational students in India, Nepal and Pakistan dropped to less than one in four. As per reports, the Australian visa authorities are concerned about these applicants’ bona fides.
In fact, visa grant rates for vocational education students have been below 50 per cent for most of 2022.
According to the Department of Home Affairs data,
In September 2022, of approx. 3,500 Indian international student visa applications more than 1,500 student applications were rejected.
Only 3.8 per cent of international student applications that is just 34 out of more than 900 students interested in vocational study were approved.
Similarly, in higher education, the success rates for students decreased to 56 per cent for Indian and 57 per cent for Pakistani students. Meanwhile, Nepali students received only 33 per cent of visas in higher education and 15 per cent of visas in vocational education.
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil has recently called Australia’s migration system “clunky, expensive, and is just not working.”
She has also announced that former treasury secretary Martin Parkinson, lawyer Joanna Howe and consultant John Azarias would lead a “comprehensive review” of Australia’s migration system.
Vishal Sharma is a registered migration agent based in Melbourne. His clients are from both India and Nepal.
Mr Sharma told The Australia Today, “There has been a significant number of visas which are refused on basis of non-genuine entrant without even properly considering the circumstances of genuine students who were planning to study in Australia.”
“There have been so many errors made by Case officers and genuine students have been refused student visas on basis of small study gaps etc.”
However, he agreed that there has been a Mafia of dodgy agents operating in the Indian subcontinent which has been trying to arrange visas on basis of fake documents.
“I have seen students who are currently studying in Australia and have been victims of their dodgy agents.”
The Australian government has attempted to redress visa processing delays by recruiting more new staff and also redistributing the processing workload.
Further, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), the Australian higher education regulator, has also warned Australian institutions to monitor the activities of their education agents and the international students they enrol.