Student record

The calm before the international student storm

The latest overseas arrivals and departures figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have revealed that international student arrivals have not rebounded after Australia’s international border reopened at the end of Last year.

Only 35,110 international students arrived in Australia during the term, a significant drop from the ten-year average of 98,000 term arrivals:

Quarterly student arrivals remain sluggish.

In the year to June 2022, only 79,920 international students arrived in Australia. This is a massive drop from the 612,000 annual arrivals in June 2019 – the year before the pandemic hit:

Annual arrivals of international students

Annual arrivals of international students do not start.

The lack of international student arrivals helps explain why Australia’s net immigration has also been slow to rebound. As the following chart shows, permanent and long-term net arrivals to Australia – a leading indicator of net migration overseas – were just 65,700 in the year to June 2022:

Australia's net immigration

Australia’s net immigration is also failing to get off the ground.

It’s the calm before the storm, though. Data released this month by the Home Office revealed a record 42,700 overseas international students applied for visas to study in Australia in June, with many more applying in July :

“This is the highest number of offshore applications received in a single month in the past 10 years,” the department told education providers…

The department said the high numbers seen in June are continuing, with an average of 10,000 student visa applications per week received in July from overseas applicants. In comparison, only 34,015 student visa applications were received in June 2019, before the pandemic…

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said 62,000 student visas had been finalized since early June…

Currently, international students have no limit on working hours since the Morrison government removed the previous restriction of 40 hours per fortnight in a bid to ease labor shortages.

Consequently, international student arrivals will soon start, attracted by the recent uncap on working hours.

This, in turn, will lead to a sharp increase in net outward migration. And that’s even before the Albanian government opened the floodgates for immigration.

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