On Friday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in Melbourne that international students and travelers from India will soon be allowed to enter the country.
“You know, we’re looking forward to Indian students coming back to Australia, Alan. Not too long now, not too long now. We’ve recognized, of course, the many Indian manufactured vaccines that will be facilitating the return of Indian students and Indian travelers to Australia,’’ said Morrison while speaking at the unveiling of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Melbourne’s Rowville suburb on Friday.
Canberra has already approved Covaxin and Covishield for travelers entering Australia.
Morrison also pointed out that the government had expanded the definition of immediate family which will benefit those who’ve been separated from their parents for some period of time.
Education is a major foreign exchange earner for Australia and it is estimated that out of the over six lakh foreign students enrolled in universities there, one-fifth or well over one lakh students are from India. Besides, about four lakh tourists from India visit Australia every year.
Morrison also praised the Indian diaspora for its commitment towards family and expressed admiration for PM Narendra Modi.
“We first (PM Modi and Morrison) met here in Melbourne many years ago at the MCG when he came to Australia. I was fortunate enough, I was the Minister for Immigration at the time and I was seated next to him,” he recalled.
“I wasn’t expecting because, you know, he’s a rock star, but thankful to security that night, he and I had quite a nice and friendly chat, and we’ve remained friends ever since,” he said.