Australia’s student visa program includes 5 new rules

Students study at a library of the University of Sydney
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Australia has made a number of changes to its international student visa regulations known with the intention of improving the standard of its educational programme and guaranteeing the safety of the students.

This action, which is anticipated to have a significant effect on the community of international students, demonstrates Australia’s dedication to preserving its position as a top location for higher learning.

The Department of Home Affairs and Department of Education in Australia have announced the changes that have been made thus far. Here is a summary of those changes.

Increase in financial proof

The Australian government has stipulated an increase in the minimum savings requirement for obtaining a student visa.

As of October last year, international students are required to demonstrate savings amounting to AUD$24,505 (US$15,943), a 17% surge from the previous level.

Stricter assessment

Prospective students must now pass a Genuine Student Test (GST), a measure introduced by the Australian government last November as part of its visa application process for international students.

This new test is designed to assess whether applicants genuinely intend to stay in Australia temporarily for the purpose of study. The GST replaces the previous Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement. It aims at distinguishing and favoring those most likely to have the primary purpose of studying rather than working and contribute needed skills to the Australian economy.

In effect, students pursuing lower levels of credential are those most likely to be refused a visa.

Higher English levels

The English proficiency requirement for undergraduate international students increased from IELTS 5.5 to 6 and for postgraduate programs, from 6 to 6.5.

Institutions ranking

The Australian Department of Home Affairs announced last December to rank universities based on their risk level.

Based on the data of students who previously violated visa regulations, universities are categorized into three groups. International students applying to Group 1 will be prioritized.

For those in Groups 2 and 3, the visa application process will take more time, requiring additional proof of English proficiency and financial capacity.

Following this latest policy, several Australian universities have so far this year announced to cancel admission offers for international students or request withdrawal of applications in a move to protect their reputation.

Cutting post-study extension

Starting from the middle of this year, Australia will adjust its post-study work rights policy for international students, reducing the duration international graduates can stay in the country for work purposes.

Previously, the Australian government had extended the post-study work visa durations for undergraduates, master’s, and PhD students in selected programs, allowing them to stay for up to 4-6 years depending on their level of study.

These durations will now revert to the original 2-3 years, according to the announcement made by Australia’s Department of Education last month.

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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