Australia universities ban Indian students from six states, UT amid concerns over visa fraud. Report.

One in four applications now being deemed as “fraudulent” or “non-genuine” by the Department of Home Affairs, the report said.

In April 2023, several Australian universities, including Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, Torrens University, and Southern Cross University placed a ban or restriction on students from some Indian states as fraudulent applications seeking to work, and not study, in the country are on the rise.

Two Australian universities – Federation University in Victoria and Western Sydney University in New South Wales – have separately announced bans on the intake of students from some Indian states citing concerns over a rise in fraudulent visa applications, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The education agents were instructed to not consider students from Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The education agents were instructed to not consider students from Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The report indicated that one in four applications is now deemed “fraudulent” or “non-genuine” by the country’s Department of Home Affairs.
The ban was announced prior to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day visit to Australia on Monday, during which a large community event for the Indian diaspora was scheduled to take place in Sydney.

In a letter on May 19, Federation University said that they have observed a significant increase in the proportion of visa applications being refused from some Indian regions by the Department of Home Affairs. “We hoped this would prove to be a short-term issue [but] it is now clear there is a trend emerging,” the letter said.

Western Sydney University informed agents in its letter that they could no longer recruit students from Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat, citing a large number of Indian students who started courses in 2022 who had dropped out.
“The regions within India that have been identified as presenting the highest attrition risk are Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat,” the letter from the university on May 8 said.

“Due to the urgency of this matter, the university has decided to pause recruitment from these regions in India, effective immediately.” the letter further said.
An earlier report from The Sydney Morning Herald said that a significant trend has emerged regarding the handling of applications from Indian students by several renowned educational institutions in Australia. Emails obtained from Victoria University, Edith Cowan University, the University of Wollongong, Torrens University, as well as agents affiliated with Southern Cross University, suggested a noticeable tightening of scrutiny on these Indian students’ applications.

The concern was that a considerable number of applicants, rather than genuinely seeking educational opportunities, appear to have ulterior motives centered around employment prospects in Australia instead of pursuing their intended studies.
In February, Edith Cowan University in Perth implemented a comprehensive prohibition on accepting applicants from the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana. Subsequently, in March, Victoria University further tightened its restrictions on student applications, extending to eight Indian states, including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.