International Students Alert! What you need to know about Australia’s new migration strategy

By QUT Student Guild 

Staying informed of your rights and government regulations are crucial to ensuring a smooth educational journey in the ever-evolving landscape of Australian migration policies. With the government’s latest migration strategy on the horizon, it’s important to understand what this could mean for you and to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge to navigate these changes effectively. 

The government’s migration strategy will be implemented later this year, and aims to address perceived challenges across various sectors. The intended impact spans multiple domains, which includes the higher education sector and therefore international students. 

Among the notable adjustments are revisions to the Temporary Graduate Visa (TGV), a vital pathway for international students transitioning to the workforce post-education. The changes include reducing visa duration for Master’s by Coursework (from 3 years to 2 years) and PhDs (from 4 years to 3 years). Another change that will impact many Postgrad students is the maximum eligible age for the TGV; this is set to decrease from 50 years of age to 35, a significant change. 

These policy amendments carry huge implications for international students. The shortened visa durations may impact career planning and opportunities for gaining post-study work experience in Australia. Moreover, the reduction in the maximum eligible age could limit the accessibility of these pathways for older students seeking to build their careers in this country. 

Research shows that the average postgrad student is in their mid 30s, which means the average students has already reached the age cut off and could no longer qualify for the TGV. The proposed migration strategy, including lowering the age cap, directly threatens Australia’s research and innovation leadership by significantly impacting PhD students. This move risks depleting Australia’s academic workforce, stifling progress in key innovation sectors, and undermining the country’s global competitive edge in research and development.  

QUT Guild has taken proactive steps to advocate for the concerns of international students. Collaborating with postgraduate student associations nationwide, we’ve voiced our apprehensions through letters addressed to key government officials. We aim to ensure that policy decisions consider international students’ diverse needs and aspirations in pursuing education and research in Australia. 

Recognising the importance of providing support during times of transition, QUT Guild is committed to empowering international students with relevant information and resources. As part of our initiatives, we will host an Australian Visa Information Session on February 27th, 2024. This session will provide insights into visa-related topics like compliance with student visa conditions, changing courses, and work hours.  

Your Voice Matters – Take Action 

We believe in the collective strength of our community. As advocates for fairness and inclusivity, we encourage you to lend your voice to the cause. By signing the petition challenging discriminatory age restrictions, you contribute to the ongoing efforts to safeguard the interests of international students in Australia as well as Australia’s research potential.  

You can sign the petition here

We must stay informed and resilient as we navigate these policy transitions together. Keep abreast of updates from QUT Guild and other relevant channels to ensure you have the support and resources you need to thrive in your educational journey. 

Remember, your resilience and adaptability are your greatest assets in the face of change. You can find important information related to the upcoming migration strategy here, here and here.  

QUT Student Guild
QUT Student Guild
Articles: 24

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