Canberra, Jan 19, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the federal government will rebate visa application fees for the next eight weeks for international students and working holidaymakers or backpackers amounting to $630 and $495 respectively.
He welcomed them to come to join the Australian workforce help in the agricultural and hospitality sector and fulfil the demand of the labour market. He said that he would like to encourage international students to return to Australia to resume their studies at university.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the visa rebate scheme is expected to cost A$55 million. The welcome scheme will attract approximately 175,000 youths with Australian visas to come and study in Australia.
Approximately 150,000 students and 23,500 holidaymakers, who have approved visas to come and study in Australia, are currently overseas. It is a part of an initiative to encourage students to return for the start of the university year. Last week, Morrison announced that the 40-hour-a-fortnight cap on student visa-holder workers would be scraped until the crisis is reasonably eased.
Reportedly, they will be able to apply for the visa without paying the usual fees for at least the next three months. The government hopes that this new announcement will encourage them to fly into Australia and fill the critical workforce shortage. Mainly the hospitality, health care, aged care, etc. sectors are experiencing a shortage of workers.
International students returning to Australia and the working holidaymakers will have to be fully vaccinated. Morrison said that they will face the same quarantine arrangements that are enforced and required by each state.