Countries engaged in a race for highly skilled labour are prepared to modify immigration regulations to attract those migrants; however, despite abundant research regarding the mobility of the highly skilled, the mobility of international students and their subsequent migration patterns is not well understood. Using the transnational lens, this approach elucidates the practices and connections between multiples places in international student migration. This paper uses a study of Chinese and Indian students in Australia to shed light on the intricacies of their transnational migration strategies by investigating how their interactions with Australia's skilled migration programme not only results in permanent migration outcomes but also facilitate onward migration to other destinations. The configuration of Australia, and/or Adelaide at a finer spatial level, as gateways to preferred destinations illustrates how educational choices and immigration regimes intersect and impinge on the decision‐making process of Chinese and Indian students in Australia. By doing so, it not only unpacks the ‘difference’ usually associated with international education by emphasising on the importance of attractive immigration policies but also argues for the need to consider the lifetime mobility aspirations of international students and their mobility beyond the ‘stay‐return’ framework.