Visa Fee Waived For International Students & Working Travellers
“Come on down”
The PM is calling for international students and travellers to visit down-under with a financial benefit.
It comes as the federal government attempt to ease worker shortages across several industries and sectors amid the Covid fallout.
International students and working holiday makers who arrive on Aussie shores from Wednesday will have their visa application fees refunded.
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the rebate on Wednesday, calling upon visa holders to make their way to Australia.
“What we'll be doing is we will be rebating the visa application fees from all those who arrive today,” he told reporters.
“My message to them is come on down”
"Move all the way around the country, and at the same time join our workforce and help us in our agricultural sector, in our hospitality sector, and so many of the other parts of the economy that rely on that labour, on that workforce right now," he said.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hopes the application fee changes will make a "big difference".
"We are putting out the welcome mat," Mr Frydenberg told reporters.
It’s anticipated that the changes will attract about 150,000 students and 23,500 backpackers who currently hold an Australian visa.
"That is a thank-you to [students] for coming back and continuing to choose Australia, but we also want them to come here and be able to be filling some of these critical workforce shortages," Morrison said.
"Particularly those who are working and being trained in healthcare, aged care, those types of sectors, that will be incredibly helpful."
- PM Morrison
The visa application fee for international students is currently $630 and $495 for working holiday makers.
International students have an eight-week window of opportunity, while backpackers on working holiday-maker visas have 12 weeks.
The expected cost of the fee rebate scheme is $55 million.
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