Offshore third-party brokers continue to thwart and rort the student visa (457) system in this country. The number of visas being cancelled by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has increased dramatically; from 1978 in 2012, to 4930 in 2013 and 7061 in the last financial year.
It would appear that there is a loophole in the system. The issues relating to the cancelled visas include:
- Recruitment of “non-genuine” students by the brokers.
- “Course-hopping”, where the student transfers to an uncredited college when here. Up to 1000 students have been identified as doing this and have had their visas cancelled.
- “Ghost students”: students failing to turn up to colleges at all.
The government, although streamlining the visa process, is assisting tertiary colleges in the implementation of a campaign to better identify real students.
The Department of Education said that international students had contributed $15.7 billion to the economy in the last financial year, the highest since its last peak of $16.4 billion in 2010.
Australia’s largest listed education company, Navitas, indicated it would be slowing enrolments over the next year as it identified that there were people using the visa simply as a means of entering the country. It has particularly noted irregularities with Indian and Nepalese brokers as these had a higher incidence of fraud.