Australian Govt to Cover Visa Application Costs for International Students Returning to Country

Australia Oceania COVID-19 International Studies by Erudera News Jan 21, 2022

International Students Return Australia

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has encouraged international students and backpackers to return to the country, stressing that their visa application fees will be covered by the government for at least the next three months.

In a press conference, Morrison said that the country has taken the decision as it works to recover the economy and fill some of the critical workforce shortages, Erudera.com reports.

A total of 56,000 international students and 24,000 backpackers are expected to benefit from visa rebates in the next eight and twelve weeks. For backpackers, the rebate scheme will be running for 12 weeks, while the process of visa refunds will be done through the Department of Home Affairs.

“What we’ll be doing is we will be rebating the visa application fees from all those who arrive today – today, and going forward – for students over the next eight weeks, and that is a fee of some $630,” Morrison pointed out.

While announcing that the government will be rebating visa application fees for backpackers too, Prime Minister noted that there are 23,500 backpackers who have visas to come to Australia at the moment and called on them to “come on down now” as they are wanted to come to Australia.

“We want you to come to Australia and enjoy a holiday here in Australia, move all the way, all the way around the country, and at the same time join our workforce and help us in our agricultural sector, in our hospitality sector, and so many of the other parts of the, of the economy that rely on that labour, that workforce right now,” Morrison added.

According to the Group of Eight (Go8) (Go8), Australia’s leading research-intensive universities, rebating the visa application fees may not be sufficient for international students who are now worried about the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across Australia.  

In order to support a marketing program to target backpackers and students to get the latter out, the Australian government is expected to allocate a total of $3 million to Tourism Australia. According to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, the visa rebate scheme costs are expected to reach A$55 million.

There are some 150,000 international students with approved visas who are able to return and pursue studies in Australia. Students returning to the country should be fully vaccinated and comply with quarantine requirements required by each state or territory.  

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