In a move to address the surge in migration, Australia has announced several immigration policies including a raise in the visa amount for international students, which will be effective from May10.

According to the new rule, international students will have to show savings of A$29,710 ($19,576) if they want to obtain an Australian visa, which is a second hike in the last seven months, Reuters reported. In October, the amount was raised to A$24,505 from A$21,041.

With Australia struggling to tighten its rental market, the move is an effort to rein in the record influx of international students following the removal of Covid regulations in 2022. The Australian government is under pressure after the rental prices saw a steep rise across the country thanks to the surging migration, mostly driven by international students. Net immigration rose 60% to a record 548,800 in the year to September 30, 2023.

Earlier, in March, the government had increased English Language requirement for student visas and also moved to remove policies that allowed students to prolong their stay, Arise News reported.

The government has also issued letters to 34 educational institutions warning them against engaging in fraudulent practices, and face up to two years in jail and a ban from recruiting students if found guilty. "Dodgy providers have no place in our international education sector. These actions will help weed out the bottom feeders in the sector that seek to exploit people and trash the reputation of the sector," Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil said in a statement.

Aiming to reduce the migration rate, the government expects its policies to cut the current intake by half over the next two years. "We are significantly reducing migration levels - we are in the middle of the biggest drop in migration numbers in Australia's history, outside of war or pandemic," O'Neil said.