The federal government will rebate Australian visa application fees for backpackers and international students heading to Australia in an endeavor to address the workforce shortage.
The announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday will target around 150,000 students and 23,500 backpackers who are offshore and already have visas to enter Australia, with the rebates – worth $630 for students and $495 for working holidaymakers – to begin immediately. For those on student visas, the rebate scheme will run for eight weeks, while backpackers will be able to access the rebate for 12 weeks.
“We want you to come to Australia and enjoy a holiday here … move all the way around the country,” Mr Morrison added.
“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.”
Regarding international students’ study in Australia, Mr Morrison said he was encouraging them to be back for the start of the university year as a “thank you for choosing Australia”.
The government will also give $3 million to Tourism Australia for a marketing campaign focus on backpackers and students.