Australia Welcomes 56,000 International Students Since Late November 2021

Australia Oceania COVID-19 International Studies by Erudera News Feb 15, 2022

Traveling to Australia

Many international students are returning to Australia after nearly two years of being banned from entering there due to COVID-19 pandemic rules. According to data, over 56,000 international students have entered the country since November 2021, with some 7,000 of them arriving between January 23 and 30, 2022.

The increase in the number of international students returning to Australia comes after Morrison Government’s announcement to refund student visa application fees if they arrive during the period between January and March 2022, reports.

“Fully vaccinated International Students and Working Holiday Makers have been encouraged to return to Australia now to support our economic recovery and to commence studies through the launch of a new Visa Application Charge (VAC) refund window for eligible travelers,” a statement from the Department of Home Affairs reads.

In order to be eligible for a VAC refund, student visa holders should arrive in Australia between January 19 and March 19.

​​​​​Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke MP said that Australia provides more job opportunities than before the pandemic; therefore, many jobs are available to backpackers and students.

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Moreover, the demand for study visas in Australia has also been strong. Since late 2021, there have been more than 50,000 international student visa lodgements.

“Visa grants to international students are flowing as a result of the Minister directing the Department to allocate additional resources to processing the visas of International Students,” the Department of Home Affairs notes.

Although the number of international students has started to increase gradually, Australian economy has been significantly affected due to lack of international students in the country.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data on international trade for the December quarter indicated that Australia has seen a fall in the contribution of international education to the economy, dropping almost 50 percent, from $40.3 billion in 2019 to $22.5 billion in 2021.

Following the drop, Group of Eight Chief Executive Vicki Thomson said that the results are not surprising given the constant uncertainty and border restrictions amid the pandemic.

“International students have faced major challenges in commencing their higher education studies over the past two years, with the latest figures (November 2021) showing a 23% drop in commencing higher education enrolments compared to the previous year,” Thomson added.

By February 21, all international arrivals, including students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, will be able to enter Australia as the government is planning a full reopening by this date.

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