Further changes to Australia student visas later this year and in 2013

by Ray Clancy on March 29, 2012

in Australia Immigration, Education in Australia

Current and new student visa holders and applicants to be effected by changes

Current and new student visa holders and applicants face further changes to be made later this year and in 2013, Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship has confirmed.

All the changes are the result of recommendations made by Michael Knight in his independent review of the student visa programme.

He made 41 recommendations in his report, Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program 2011, with the aim of improving the competitiveness of the Australian international education sector and to strengthen the integrity of the student visa programme.

All of the recommendations have been accepted in principle by the Australian government and stage one of the Knight Review changes was implemented in late 2011 and a number of key stage two Knight Review changes were implemented last week. The remaining stage two changes are proposed to be implemented later in 2012 and in early 2013, said a DIAC spokesman.

Changes implemented for applications made on or after 24 March 2012 aim to streamline visa processing for applicants studying Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral courses at participating universities in Australia that are assessed as though they are a lower risk regardless of their country of origin. This means that these applicants will generally have reduced evidential requirements when applying for a student visa.

The maximum period of English language study that a schools sector (subclass 571) visa applicant subject to Assessment Level (AL) 3 and above can undertake, has been increased to 50 weeks. Prior to 24 March 2012, the maximum period of English language study for Schools sector applicants was 40 weeks for AL 3, 30 weeks for AL 4 and nil for AL 5. The arrangements for AL 1 and AL 2 applicants remain unchanged, with no English language study period restrictions.

New Student Guardian (subclass 580) visa holders can undertake English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) study on a part time basis, that is less than 20 hours per week, for the duration of their visa. However this change only applies to ELICOS study and other study restrictions remain unchanged.

Changes implemented on 26 March 2012 provide more flexible work conditions for student visa holders. Postgraduate Research (subclass 574) visa holders can now work unlimited hours once their courses have started and all other student visa holders work entitlements are now 40 hours each fortnight instead of 20 hours each week.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

CSL May 31, 2012 at 12:47 pm

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cleaningmitcham July 6, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Hi, I do enjoy the way you have framed this specific issue plus it does. Thank you for this excellent piece and I really do agree with the idea.

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