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Australian Government Approves Massive Increase in Student Visa Fees

Australia has sparked international controversy by more than doubling its visa fees for international students, increasing them from A$710 to A$1,600, effective July 1. This significant hike aims to manage the surge in migration and address housing market pressures but has been met with fierce criticism, labeled as an “outrageous impost.”

New regulations now prevent visitors and temporary graduate visa holders from applying for student visas while in Australia, a step designed to enhance the integrity of the international education system. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil defended these changes, arguing they would create a fairer and more efficient migration system.

Recent statistics show a dramatic 60% increase in net immigration, with 548,800 individuals receiving Australian visas in the past year. With this fee adjustment, Australia now stands significantly higher than its global competitors, with the US charging around $185 and Canada about C$150 ($110) for similar student visas.

Critics have condemned the move as “robbing Ranjit to pay for Richard,” arguing that it unfairly burdens international students to support domestic initiatives. As Australia faces the repercussions, concerns grow about its appeal as a destination for global learners in an increasingly competitive international landscape.

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