Australian media reported on Tuesday (18 Apr) that at least five universities in Australia are cracking down on students from India after experiencing a surge in fraudulent student visa applications.

An investigation by Australian newspapers The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald has revealed that at least five of the Australian universities — Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, the University of Wollongong, Torrens University, and Southern Cross University — are putting in place bans on Indian students from some states to pre-empt greater restrictions being imposed by the Australia government.

The Australian government does apply ratings to countries it deems to have a higher risk of entrants not abiding by the terms of their visas. Many of the students from these countries were found to be prone to working illegally after landing in Australia.

A government spokesperson said that since the easing of COVID-19 border restrictions in 2021 they had “witnessed an increase in incomplete applications and presentation of fraudulent information and documentation in student visa applications”.

One of the reasons why more Indian students want to study in Australia now is due to the recent signing of a wide-ranging agreement making it easier for citizens to travel and study between India and Australia.

In February, some 94 per cent of applications from India to study in Australia’s vocational sector were rejected by the Australian government.

Insiders have accused education agencies, who help recruit prospective international students in exchange for commissions, of misleading conduct.

In March, Canada expelled more than 150 Indian students for entering the country on forged college admission letters.

The students claimed to have been duped by an immigration consultation agency in India that provided them with the forgeries.

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