Sharp drop in offshore visa grants of Nepalese students

13 November 2019 I A cursory review of the latest immigration data released by Australian government indicates far less Nepalese students are being granted student visas compared to the same period last financial year.

In the first three months of the financial year 2019/20, only 2748 applicants who lodged their applications from Nepal were granted Australian student visas. With 5,453 granted visas, the corresponding figure for the months of July, August and September in the last financial year (2018/19) was the double.

This projection however does not include Nepalese students who are already in Australia.

Department of Home Affairs’ data shows Vocational Education and Training Sector is the main culprit behind this sudden drop in the offshore student visa grants for Nepalese students.

In the financial year 2018/19, there were as many as 1670 visa grants for Nepalese students (who were in Nepal at the time of application lodgement) applying for VET courses. This number in the first quarter of the current financial year stands at an unbelievable 134 only.

Nearly two thousand more Nepalese international students, who were in Australia at the time of lodging their visa applications, were granted onshore student visas within the first quarter of the current financial year. During this period, a total of 3749 visas were granted to Nepalese students who were already in Australia against only 2012 in 2018/19.

Parshu Ram Adhikari, the president of Australian Education Consultants Alliance, is nevertheless optimistic that things will turn for good in the days ahead.

“While the number-drop might seem alarming, for quality and genuine students, visa will not be a problem. I also believe that Australian education providers as well as the government see Nepal as a sustainable market and will not victimise Nepalese students as long as they are coming here to study,” the Sydney-based education consultant said. 

It is noteworthy that the small Himalayan nation is the third largest contributor to Australia’s 34 billion education industry. The South Asian nation injected some $1.6 billion into the Australian economy in financial year 2017/18.

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