Sharp Decline in Australian Study Visa Grants in 2024: The things you need to know.

June 26, 2024
Australia Student Visa

In a rather shocking revelation, there has been a dwindling trend in the number of study visa issues in Australia in 2024. The overall study visas issued to applicants from foreign countries have declined by 30% in the initial four months of the present year as against the same duration of the preceding year. Before COVID-19, 104,808 study visas were issued from January to April 2023 while in 2020, only 74,421 study visas were processed during the same period. As a result, this trend has raised eyebrows among the prospective students as well as the institutions of learning.

Understanding the Decline

The overall trend of study visa grants in Australia is not a random occurrence. This is following new migration policies that were enacted by the Australian authorities back in December 2023. These policies include a higher standard for international students regarding minimum funds requirement, limited number of international students intake starting at January 2025, and more ways in how onshore students are dissuaded from changing visa categories.
These measures are aimed at regulating and preventing further more student mobility to alleviate the problem, admitting only the genuine students who can qualify under the new stringently set standards on visa requirements. This has led to an increase in the rate of visa refusals and in turn impacting several facets of the educational system.

Impact on Educational Sectors

The VET and ELICOS sectors have been most affected due to the changes implemented by the current Australian Government. The VET sector had 69% declines in the number of visas granted for the year while the ELICOS sector had 56%. These sectors alone accounted for nearly two-third (61%) of the total restrictions in visa grants during the period from January to April this year. This decline is substantial, and in the ten or more years, depending on the sector, it will be the lowest award of visa grants for both sectors, excluding the COVID period.

Broader Context and Comparisons

To place all these into perspective, it useful to look at current trends in decline with past experiences. Pandemic year of 2020-21 saw a decline of 53 percent in the visa grants for offshore students in comparison to the year 2019-20. The current reduction may not be as steep but is notable and points to the effects of new migration policies.
Uniquely, though the number of study visas granted to students has been falling, this trend does not align with patterns in other nations. For instance, the United Kingdom measured a record 15 percent. From the same year, the volume of visas granted to Indian students was 116,455, which is 7% less compared to the previous year. However, the cycle was not cut short for Indian students as they remained the largest beneficiaries of student visas by March 2024 in the UK. Such patterns might have resulted from uncertainty over the Graduate Route or timidity during a year of changes.

Moving Forward

A dramatic decrease in the issuance of Australian study visas underlined the initial effects of the changed migration approach. With the new requirements, aspiring students need to meet higher threshold that requires more savings, better English, and pass the “Genuine Student Test.” As the new policies take their full swing, it will be very crucial for the institutions as well as the students aspiring for education.
So, for those who planning to choose Australia as a country to study, it is highly important to be aware of the visa rules that has changed recently and to be ready for a lot of paperwork. That being the case, while current conditions call for it, the need to meet the standards set by the Australian government requires one to be well-prepared and ready for business.


This paper examines one key phenomenon that occurred in 2024: the reduced number of study visas granted to Australians, and the potential impact of this phenomenon on the educational sector and aspiring international students. This has been realized due to changes in migration policies that have adopted stricter measures in the issuance of visas as indicated by the higher number of visa rejections and a steep decline in the number of visas issued. With the global changes still unfolding it will be important for students who wish to study in Australia to ensure they keep abreast and be well equipped as changes are bound to occur.

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