Clamp down on student visas after India fraud

MELBOURNE, 18 July 2022: The Department of Home Affairs has clamped down on Indian student visa applications after detecting alleged ‘dodgy applications from three states in India’, reports the Australian Financial Review (AFR, July 17, 2022). Earlier, the previous Scott Morrison government had relaxed working hours for international students to a 40-hour cap while studying.

The AFR report says, ‘the fraudulent applications were coming from a handful of states and education agents in India, with “students” sending false financial records and school certificates.

The increase in fraud was allegedly motivated by visa applicants wanting to use the visas primarily to work rather than study after the government removed limitations on students’ work hours in any industry early in 2022 to help businesses crippled by skills shortages to find staff.”

India is Australia’s second biggest international student market having 16.2 percent enrolments in 2022 and, prepandemic in 2019, contributing more than $6.4 billion to the economy, says the AFR.

Over the years (including the pandemic period) Australia has been losing India’s international student market to competitors in Canada and other countries.

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By SAT News Desk

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