Indian students denied access to Australia in the wake of COVID-19 related border curbs have been expressing their exasperation and anxiety on social media.
Tens of thousands of students and graduates who are studying at various colleges in Australian universities or have taken admissions have been waiting since March last year when the country locked its borders to all non-citizens and non-residents in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although around 1,000 international students have reportedly received exemptions to return to the country amid the pandemic, the number is too small to pacify several others, anxious over their future amid the gloom of uncertainty.
According to Australia's largest media conglomerate NewsCorpAus's wire service, NCA NewsWire, the Australian Border Force Commissioner, has allowed 1,050 foreign nationals an exemption to enter the country since the beginning of August (2020).
However, those seeking an exemption are required to furnish evidence of a "compelling case". The students also need to meet exemption categories, which comprise those in their final two years of study of a dental, medical, nursing or allied health profession university degree, the publication reported, citing an Australian Border Force spokeswoman.
The students must also have a confirmed placement at an Australian hospital or medical practice that begins within the next two months, the report added.
More than 17,000 people have signed a petition addressed to the House of Representatives, demanding international students' exemption from Australia's COVID-19 related travel border curbs.
The decision to permit a small number of international students to return to the country has sparked the ire of several Indian students in waiting and campaigning for close to a year now.
With this development, #LetUsBacktoAus and #BringUsBackToAus hashtags have been trending on Twitter.
Here are some of the tweets:
Open boarders to save everyone from this ongoing pandemic. We inflate your society with international money and save your economy and we will help you #LetUsComeToAus#LetUsBacktoAus#letusbacktoaustralia— Dinu (@Dinu26045515) February 17, 2021
#LetUsBackToAus@ScottMorrisonMP 🙏@ausgov@monashada@PhilHoneywood@VictorianCHO@IEAAustralia@SBSPunjabi@DanielAndrewsMP Please open the international borders for students🙏#LetUsBackToAuspic.twitter.com/xlbwyVRvEW— Mahak gupta (@Mahakkgupta) February 13, 2021
Wake up now @ScottMorrisonMP kindly do something Significant for international students. We are keen to study on campus, we're not telling you any joke so that you are not supposed to be silent at every time when it comes to international students. #LetUsBackToAus 🇦🇺🇦🇺— Raj Kumar (@Rajkummar45) February 17, 2021
#LetUsBackToAus— Parth Dua (@ParthDua16) February 17, 2021
Please we request you open the borders for international students. We are pay fees for face to face study not for online. We are ready to quarantine. #LetUsBackToAus@PhilHoneywood@7NewsMelbourne@ScottMorrisonMP