According to migration experts in Australia, the government has recently been much stricter when it comes to judging applications for student visas. This is because of a sharp increase in the number of cases of fraud.
Studying in Australia
Australia is a popular country for students who want to study abroad. Students who want to study in Australia for a short period do not always have to apply for a student visa. For example, they can use the eVisitor visa for example, studying in Australia for a maximum of 3 months and with the Working Holiday visa for a maximum of 4 months. The Working Holiday visa also makes it possible to work during your studies, something that is not allowed with the eVisitor visa. On the other hand, the eVisitor visa is a lot cheaper and is granted more quickly. However, students who wish to study in Australia for a longer period of time cannot use the eVisitor or WHVA, but have to apply for a specific student visa. The application procedure for a student visa is a lot more complicated than for the eVisitor visa. Among other things, students have to prove that they have sufficient funds and provide officially certified copies of various documents, such as diplomas.
Strong increase in fraud
The Australian government has been trying to attract more foreign students to the country for years. In November 2021, the government announced that international students will be allowed to stay in Australia longer after they complete their studies. Moreover, since 14 January 2022, students with a visa are allowed to work an unlimited number of hours in addition to their studies; previously this was a maximum of 40 hours per two weeks. On 19 January 2022, the government announced that it will partially reimburse the cost of student visas. The application for this refund can be made until 19 March 2022. With this, the Australian government hopes that international students will choose for Australia at the start of the new school year.
Recently, however, there have been more and more cases of fraud when applying for student visas. This is done, among other things, by providing false diplomas or income details. Between 2020 and 2021, 154 students were expelled from the country because of visa fraud. This number has risen sharply; in January 2022 alone, there are 119 known cases of visa fraud among foreigners who want to study in Australia. One of the reasons that the number was lower in previous years is that far fewer student visas were granted due to COVID-19. Now that Australia has opened its borders again and is granting visas, there are also more cases of fraud.
In some cases, it is not deliberate fraud. Students from often poorer countries often fall prey to persons and organisations that claim to be able to arrange a student visa easily, often for very high prices. However, these parties use false information for this purpose, as a result of which the visa is granted, but on false grounds. Sometimes these students do get into Australia, but are later caught and asked to leave the country on short notice. Students who refuse are arrested and deported. But often the immigration authorities find out at the airport that something is wrong and the students are put on the first flight home. In this case, the costs of the visa and the journey are not refunded.
According to the Australian Immigration Department, students who cheat on their visa applications cannot apply for visas to Australia for three years.
Take note: this news article about the visa for Australia is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the visa for Australia.