What is happening to International Students?
After a year-long border closure as a response to contain COVID-19, Australia plans to reopen its border for temporary visa holders. A huge number of international students, temporary visa holders, and Australians overseas are waiting for permission to reenter the country.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke finally signalled a green flag to open the borders to temporary visa holders. Hawke states the Australian government is considering permitting international students, visitors, and migrants back in Australia. Entering Australia from overseas is expensive and timely because of the limited flights operating.
SBS News reports Hawke expressed how Australia missed its visitors and temporary visa holders due to the pandemic. Additionally, he states the- rollout of the vaccine, Australia is ready to open the borders.
The international education sector and tourism is not just an industry but a huge pillar of the economy for Australia. Taking that into consideration, the government of Australia is planning to roll out the vaccination program and revive the economy.
Hawke states ‘That’s why the government is rolling out our and preparing for the opening of our international borders, so we can have those important visits from tourists that spend so much money in our country – but also the international student sector, one of our largest export sectors, they value-add so inherently to the Australian economy – we want to get them back.
The international student visa applications decreased by 65% after July 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. With this plunging downfall, the Department of Home Affairs revealed the decision to call back for temporary visa holders.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald to advocate for international students back in Australia. He argued that while stranded students and visa holders are affected by the border closures, so are the economy and the thousands of people in NSW who depend their livelihood on international students.
Alex Hawke hopes the decision of reopening the borders will play a major role in enhancing the economic condition of the country.