Five Australian Universities Restrict Indian Students Over False Visa Applications

Australia India Oceania Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Apr 18, 2023

Students Australia

At least five universities in Australia have imposed restrictions on students from some Indian states following a rise in fraudulent student visa applications.

Media reports say that false applications have been submitted from individuals who only intended to work in Australia but used the student visa system as an easier way to access work rights in the country.

An investigation by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald discovered that Australian universities that are restricting Indian students over false visa application cases are:

  • Victoria University
  • Edith Cowan University,
  • University of Wollongong
  • Torrens University
  • Southern Cross University

According to the investigation, these institutions have decided to bar students involved in the fraud scheme from preventing bigger restrictions from the Department of Home Affairs. The latter told the two newspapers that they had recorded an increase in individuals submitting incomplete student visa applications and providing false information and documents.

Last year, an Indian agent told the Indian Express newspaper that the department noticed nearly 600 fraudulent student visa applications were submitted via agents from India's Haryana and Punjab regions.

Earlier this year, the Department of Home Affairs rejected 94 percent of applications from Indian students seeking to pursue vocational courses in Australia.

Nonetheless, India, along with China, continues to be a top source of student visa applicants in Australia. In a statement to SBS Punjabi at the beginning of this year, Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona highlighted the strong relations between India and Australia. She said that India wants Australia’s help to educate 500 million students by 2035 in both countries.

Until November last year, Australian education institutions welcomed 613,327 international students; 360,358 were pursuing higher education in the country. The top countries of origin were China and India, with 110,582 and 99,739 students, respectively.

The number of international students in Australia has continued to increase this year as well, up by nearly 2,000 in January compared to pre-pandemic levels.

“When students come to Australia, they make important contributions that improve our social and cultural fabric and strengthen our friendships with the world,” Jackson said in a statement on March 29.

Canadian authorities have encountered similar problems recently and had to return more than 700 Indian students to their home countries after the latter had falsified their admission offer letters.

Students have been studying in Canada since the 2018/19 academic year, and the fraud was detected only after they applied for permanent residency in the country.

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