Stricter Rules for International Students in Australia, Visa Grants Down 35%

Australia Oceania International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Mar 25, 2024


Australia has begun implementing stricter visa rules for international students this week in response to an increase in net overseas migration, which is adding pressure to the country’s rental market.

In a statement released on March 21, the government announced the new visa requirements and stressed that it will deliver on the important commitments of the migration strategy released in December 2023 and key recommendations of the Migration Review, reports.

With this decision that entered into force on Saturday, March 23, English language requirements for students and graduate visas have increased while the government now has the authority to suspend education providers from enrolling international students if they violate rules.

“The Government’s powers under Section 97 of the ESOS Act also come into force, giving the Government the ability to suspend high risk education providers from recruiting international students,” the statement reads.

The highest-risk education providers, which include the so-called ghost colleges, will receive warning notices and be given six months to “get their act together.” Otherwise, they will no longer be permitted to recruit international students.

Additionally, the government has decided to end unlimited working hours for international students and the pandemic event visa.

Commenting on the decision to tighten student visa rules, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil mentioned that recent international student visa grants have decreased by 35 percent from the previous year following the government’s actions undertaken since September.

“The actions this weekend will continue to drive migration levels down while delivering on our commitments in the migration strategy to fix the broken system we inherited,” O’Neil said.

As part of the actions, English language requirements for student visas have increased from IELTS 5.5 to 6.0 and graduate visas from IELTS 6.0 to 6.5

Moreover, a new Genuine Student Test will clarify applicants’ intentions in Australia in an effort to deal with students who move to the country for work purposes instead of studying.

The government will also increase “no further stay” restrictions on visitor visas. This means that if an individual aims to enter Australia as a student, they must initially apply for a student visa while abroad.

Official data show net migration in Australia increased by 60 percent in the year to September 2023. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, a record number of 548,800 immigrants entered Australia in the year to September 30, which was 6 percent higher than the figure of 518,000 in June 2023. Students from India, China and the Philippines have mainly driven the increase.

More from Erudera News:

>> International Students in Australia Are Not Discouraged By Govt Measures, Tens of Thousands Flock Into Country

>> Australian Universities See International Student Numbers Return to Near Pre-Pandemic Levels

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