student visa

New visa system affecting international students now in place in Australia

by Ray Clancy on July 7, 2017

in Education in Australia

Students from around the world planning to study in Australia are being reminded that the country now has a new visa system in place.

The Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) began at the beginning of July and means that there is now only a single visa programme for international students, regardless of the applicant’s chosen course of study.

(Wavebreak Media Ltd/Bigstock.com)

Previously, there were seven types of Australian student visas, which depended on the applicant’s level of study such as high school, higher education, vocational education, English language or post graduate level.

The number of the student visa subclasses has been reduced to two, from eight previously. They are the student visa (subclass 500) and the new Student Guardian visa (subclass 590).

Students who think they may have a long term future in Australia also need to be aware that if they stay on after graduation there have been a number of changes that affect what visas they can apply for relating to permanent residency.

Meanwhile, the higher education sector is pleased that the Australian Government has bowed to pressure and included lecturers, vice-chancellors and other leading staff categories in the new four year temporary visa that will replace the 457 visa in March 2018.

There had been concerns that excluding these occupations from the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) would have a serious effect on the higher education sector’s ability to recruit top talent from abroad.

Universities Australia chief executive Belinda Robinson said that the change was welcomed. ‘It sends an important signal of reassurance to an estimated 3,000 researchers and university staff on current 457 visas who had faced an uncertain future,’ she pointed out.

‘Australia needs policy settings that allow us to remain competitive, and ensure we are able to snap up the best global talent to work alongside our brilliant home grown researchers,’ she added.

Scientific, technical and professional occupations are now listed as eligible occupations in the MLTSSL as well. However, university tutors, real estate agents and psychotherapists have been removed from all lists of eligible occupations.

There has also been a commitment from the Government that PhD studies will count as work experience when applying for the new skilled visas. According to the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes restoring medical research roles into the eligible occupation list allowed the country’s research institutes to remain globally competitive.

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