Visa crackdown by UK, Australia: How does it affect Indian students planning to study abroad?

Recently, on December 11, Australia announced that it is restricting the intake of international students and low-skilled workers by tightening the visa rules
Read details here | (Photo: Edex Live)
Read details here | (Photo: Edex Live)

Every year, lakhs of Indian students move to foreign countries for higher education and these numbers have been increasing steadily. As per the Ministry of External Affairs, more than 1.3 million Indians went abroad for higher education between 2017 and 2022.

The most popular destinations for these students are the United States, Australia, United Kingdom and Canada. However, with several countries initiating a visa crackdown to curb immigration, these figures might change soon.

New changes

Recently, on December 11, Australia announced that it is restricting the intake of international students and low-skilled workers by tightening the visa rules. The country is also expected to tighten the English language test. 

As per reports, the students applying for a graduate visa in Australia will now require a score of 6.5 points, up from 6.0, while student visa applicants will need a 6.0, up from 5.5.

Moreover, Indian graduates will be eligible to stay on a Temporary Graduate Visa for two years for a bachelor’s degree, three years for the completion of a master’s degree, and four years for finishing a PhD.

Similar restrictions were introduced in the UK earlier this month. The Rishi Sunak-led British government plans to raise the minimum salary required for foreign workers to be eligible for a work visa by a third and make it more difficult for them to bring their families.

As per these new restrictions, most foreign graduate students will no longer be able to bring family members to the UK starting from January 2024.

Student association, experts speak…

Indian students and young professionals have raised concerns regarding these new changes.

Speaking about the issue, Amit Tiwari, President, Indian National Students Association (INSA-UK), told EdexLive, “In the UK, Indian students are being unfairly targeted because of party politics. The Indian students add approximately 25 billion pounds to the UK economy every year, in addition to other contributions. Indian students have a number of options for higher education, but UK universities are dependent on foreign students’ funds to stay afloat financially. INSA shall be taking this matter up with UK authorities to ensure fairness for our students.”

On the other hand, experts say that these visa restrictions will not affect the Indian students wishing to pursue higher education in the UK or Australia in the coming years.

Gaurav Batra, Founder and CEO, Infinite Group, a study abroad platform, explained, “When these countries talk about reducing immigration, they are not just talking about India or South Asia. They are talking about the entire world. The curb on immigration is only for the non-genuine applicants who are going to these countries without the right intention to study. When we talk about countries like India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, usually the governments are really happy to have students from these countries. Indian students have not been affected as they want to study abroad and find the right exposure.”

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