Recent information on Australia's student visa program is presented in a report from the Department of Home Affairs.
July 25, 2022

--

For students returning to Australia between 22 November 2021 and 22 May 2022, little under 40% of the approximately 230,000 student visas awarded so far in 2021/22 have gone to students from the following four top nations:

  • India 34,035
  • China 25,689
  • Nepal  18,889 
  • Vietnam 7,172 

More generally, the number of student visa applications peaked at 473,415 in 2018–19 before falling to 262,633 in 2020–21. In 2021/22, the number of visa applications spiked once more, reaching 314,388 as of May 22, 2022.

The key dates to keep in mind are that the Australian government's fiscal year ends on June 30 (the current reporting year is nearly over), but that Australia's borders didn't reopen to foreign students until December 15 of the same year, following a prolonged closure during the pandemic. To put it another way, the return volumes we note here correspond to the number of students who entered the nation between mid-December 2021 and may 2022.

Over the same time period, we observe a similar tendency for Chinese visa applicants (total visa applications lodged): 91,296 visa applications from Chinese students were submitted in 2018–19, fell to 52,041 in 2020–21, and then rose to 55,601 through May 22, 2022. This number for the first half of 2021–2022 is around 60% of the volume for Chinese student visa applications prior to the epidemic.

In contrast, applications from Indian students have increased to 64% of pre-pandemic levels (57,635 year to date for 2021/22 versus 89,868 in 2018/19), and those from Nepalese students have increased to 90% of pre-COVID levels (39,066 year to date for 2021/22 versus 43,190 in 2018/19).

Visas are issued

Regarding the overall number of visas issued, a similar pattern is present. Visa awards peaked in 2018–19 at 405,742, dropped to 232,750 in 2020–21, and are now at 56 percent of pre–pandemic levels in 202–21 with 228,150 visas awarded year–to–date.

There were 469,306 Australian students with valid visas worldwide as of June 19, 2022. Three-quarters of those students (354,475) were in Australia, and the remaining students (114,831) are currently studying abroad. Students from countries other than Australia are permitted to travel if fully immunized.

This total number contrasts with the 578,000 student visa holders stated by the Australian government as of October 2019—a figure that decreased to a low of 266,000 in October 2021. In other words, as of May 2022, the total number of active student visas for Australia has increased to almost 80% of its pre-pandemic levels.

Eliminating the backlog

The Department of Home Affairs admits that it still has a sizable backlog of processing to deal with. The department's website periodically updates the processing standards for student visas, which currently show that 75% of applications are approved within 6 to 10 weeks, with some outliers (particularly post-graduate research and VET) taking an average of several months to process.

In response, the department outlines several measures it has take in order to reduce processing times:

  • Student visa staff continue to process visas over weekends and public holidays.
  • The department has added new processing staff.
  • Other staff resources have been diverted to boost the processing capacity in the student visa programme.
  • Home Affairs has also signaled that incomplete applications (e.g., those lodged without all mandatory documentation required; such as evidence of adequate health insurance or evidence of funds) will now be finalized (i.e., rejected) without asking the applicants to provide further information: “Applicants should ensure that they include all relevant documents when lodging their visa application. The application form in ImmiAccount tells applicants what documents to attach.”

Source: ICEF

News for you
Recent information on Australia's student visa program is presented in a report from the Department of Home Affairs.

July 25, 2022

According to a poll, students are drawn to Canada most by its reputation for quality and safety.

July 25, 2022

The majority of US institutions report an increase in the number of applications from foreign students for 2022–2023

July 25, 2022

Canada: Quebec has closed the immigration route for graduates of non-subsidized private colleges.

June 10, 2022

Immigrating to Canada: What You Need to Know

June 09, 2022

Visa processing delays are a challenge for this year's major study abroad locations.

May 26, 2022

Identifying skills gaps in the labor market in popular study locations

May 19, 2022

In early 2022, IELTS will debut a new online test

May 12, 2022

Canada: Immigration stream reopens, work permits extended for some students

May 05, 2022

The government of Saskatchewan has launched a first-of-its-kind education training program

March 17, 2022

Important information about your approved temporary resident visa or super visa and Canada’s travel restrictions due to COVID-19

March 17, 2022

Forecast projects major growth in international enrolments through 2030

March 15, 2022

Canada announces new immigration targets that shatter all previous records, with international grads being a top emphasis.

March 14, 2022

More international STEM students will be awarded three-year OPTs in the United States

February 10, 2022

Travel updates for international students

January 25, 2022

Omicron variant already impacting international student mobility

December 07, 2021

Australia to welcome all fully vaccinated students from 1 December

November 24, 2021

Government of Canada announces adjustments to Canada’s border measures

November 22, 2021

In 2021, Canadian immigration reports a rise in applications for study permits

November 22, 2021

Australian conference highlights new thinking about international education

November 19, 2021

Australia: An overview of international student return plans

November 19, 2021

US: International enrolments fell sharply in 2020 but are now rebounding

November 19, 2021

Beginning in November, fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed entry into the United States

November 18, 2021