The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a rebate to entice international students to come to Australia.
“We will be rebating the visa application fees from all those who arrive today, and going forward, for students over the next 8 weeks, and that is a fee of some $630,” he said today 19 Jan.
“There are around 150,000 students who have visas, who we are encouraging to come back to be there for the start of university.”
This is a thank you to them for coming back and continuing to choose Australia, he said.
The student visa fee rebate comes alongside similar enticement for backpackers. There are some 23,500 backpackers who have visas to come to Australia, the Prime Minister revealed.
“My message to them is to come on down,” he said.
A funding boost to Tourism Australia announced today, to the tune of $3million, will be used to attract backpackers and student visa holders in order to help fill critical worker shortages.
“We want them to come here and fill some of these critical workforce shortages, particularly in healthcare, aged care.”
Some 43,000 international students have arrived in Australia since the government allowed fully vaccinated eligible visa holders to enter following the pandemic. This was revealed by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke yesterday 18 Jan.
He added, “Additionally, more than 8,000 Skilled workers have arrived in Australia, and 22,000 Working Holiday Maker visas have been granted since November 2021.”
(This was over and above the 60,000 family members of Australians who have visited since the Government announced changes in November 2021.)
Mr Hawke also has announced further flexibility for temporary migrants.
“The Government will extend by 3 years Skilled Regional Provisional (subclass 489, 491 and 494) visas where the visa holder was impacted by COVID-19 international travel restrictions,” he said. “This will assist around 10,000 skilled regional workers.”
Current and former Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders will also see some flexibility.
Starting 18 February 2022, they will be allowed to re-enter Australia and apply for a further stay. Visas will be extended for graduates who were outside of Australia at any time between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021, while they held a valid Temporary Graduate visa.
More changes are planned for 1 July 2022.
Details at Department of Home Affairs website.