People gathered at the Paro View point to bid farewell last week (Photo Courtesy: Alfred)

Australia Rush accelerates even more in last three months

In the last financial year from July 2022 to June end 2023 a record number of 15,552 Bhutanese got visas to Australia which was around the same number of Bhutanese moving out in the last seven financial years.

It was expected that this rush would slow down this financial year due to work restrictions coming back, tougher immigration rules and a feeling that the peak had been achieved and those who had to go had left.

However, the latest data in the last three months of July, August and September 2023 show an alarming increase in the number of Bhutanese still getting student visas to Australia.

3,266 Bhutanese got visas in these three months which is the first quarters of the 2023-2024 financial year. 914 got visas in July, 1,266 in August and 1,086 in September 2023.

In the same first quarter in the last financial year of 2022-2023 which is July, August and September 2022 only 1,850 Bhutanese had left.

The same first quarter in 2021-2022 saw 551 getting visas, in the first quarter in 2020-2021 it was 483 visas and in 2019-2020 it was 763.

When one analyses the age groups there are 197 children going from babies and toddlers to children of 14.

235 are from age 15 to 19, 604 from age 20 to 24, 885 from age 25 to 29, 722 from age 30 to 34, 399 from age 35 to 39, 175 from age 40 to 44, 43 from age 45 to 49 and 6 above 50.

The worrying thing is that if the trend continues then more Bhutanese could be leaving for Australia in this financial year exceeding even the record high 15,552 those who left in the last financial year.

The high numbers are also a concern as these are not even the main intake months as there are very limited courses in November.

The numbers may zoom up much more in the coming October, November, December (2023), January and February (2024) months.

It was even hoped that the massive 50% salary hike for civil servants would make existing civil servants stay and attract young graduates to work here instead of heading out.

The salary hike seems to have had an impact in reducing the numbers of civil servants leaving. July had seen 362 civil servants separating of which 339 was voluntary resignation.

This dropped in August to 269 civil servants separating of which 251 was voluntary resignation and in September this has further dropped to 174 separating from the civil service with 168 going for voluntary resignation.

The salary hike has considerably slowed down the pace of resignations, but it is still happening in large numbers.

The exodus now seems to be happening from large numbers of people who are outside the government sector and they are mainly the young in terms of young graduates and professionals.

Of the 3,266 leaving 1,722 are going as students while 1,544 are going as their dependents.

The Association of Bhutanese Education Consultancies (ABEC) head Palden Tshering said that after the huge numbers in the last financial year they had been expecting a drop in this financial year.

When the paper presented the numbers to him he said he is surprised. He, however, also said that the expected drop has not happened so far as people are still coming to his educational consultancy. He said even civil servants are still coming even after the pay hike.

Palden said that one factor could be that Bhutanese who have gone to Canada, UK and Europe are shifting base to Australia, but this still does not explain the large numbers.

Check Also

MoESD and RCSC agree to changes in IWP for teachers

For a while now teachers have not been happy with the bell curve resulting from …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *