Australia has raised visa fees for international students, more than doubling them from A$710 to A$1,600. This change aims to handle the increase in people moving to Australia, which has put more pressure on finding homes. The decision is part of the government’s broader plan to improve the immigration system, focusing on fairness and efficiency.

Clare O’Neil, the Minister for Home Affairs, explained that the higher fees, effective immediately, are meant to make sure the international education system is honest and to create a migration system that treats everyone fairly, is smaller, and works well for Australia. Recent numbers from the government show a big 60% increase in the number of people moving to Australia, reaching a record 548,800 for the year ending September 30, 2023. Australia’s student visa fees are now significantly higher than in the US and Canada, which charge about $185 and C$150 ($110) respectively. The government also aims to restrict pathways allowing international students to stay in Australia long-term, leading to a 30% rise in new visas to over 150,000 in 2022–2023. These changes accompany other recent regulations, including stricter English requirements in March and increased financial criteria in May—the second rise in seven months. Luke Sheehy, CEO of Universities Australia, expresses concerns about these policies’ impact on universities, warning they could diminish Australia’s global standing and revenue from international students. International education is crucial to Australia’s economy, contributing A$36.4 billion in 2022-2023.