Why are these students waiting years to be allowed into Australia?

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Hundreds of international postgraduate research students in Australia are facing lengthy delays in obtaining visas, with some waiting for over a year. Chinese PhD student Andrew said he had been waiting for two years and feared revealing his identity in case it led to repercussions. A WeChat group formed to support students waiting for visas has more than 300 members. The Department of Home Affairs website states that in December 2022, the median processing time for applications under the postgraduate research sector stream for students outside Australia was 16 days, but one in 10 applications takes more than a year. The situation led to online petitions with more than 2,300 signatures collectively. Security checks can delay the process, particularly in cases involving intellectual property or critical technology, according to John Coyne of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Migration agent Simon De Vere said some individual cases had been delayed by security agencies’ concerns. Vicki Thomson, CEO of Australia’s Group of Eight Universities, said it was unacceptable for students to wait for more than one year.

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