• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Australia updates student visa process, new requirements and opportunities

australia updates student visa process, new requirements and opportunities

Australia has long been a favoured destination for international students, thanks to its world-class education system, diverse cultural environment, and vibrant lifestyle.

Recognizing the importance of international education and the evolving needs of students and the job market, the Australian government has recently introduced significant changes to its migration and education policies.

These changes, part of the Australian Government’s Migration Strategy released on December 11, 2023, aim to strengthen the integrity of international education programs, protect students, and support graduates in achieving their career aspirations.

Read also: 5 key changes in Australia’s international student visa policy so far

New Financial Capacity Requirement

Starting May 10, 2024, international students applying for Student and Student Guardian visas will need to meet updated financial requirements. Applicants must demonstrate access to at least AUD 29,710 (approximately USD 19,576) to cover airfare, tuition, and living expenses for their stay in Australia. This adjustment is intended to ensure that students have sufficient funds to avoid financial difficulties during their studies.

Reinstatement of TOEFL iBT for Visa Purposes

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Internet-Based Test (iBT) has been reinstated as a valid assessment for student visa applications. All Australian universities will accept TOEFL iBT scores, provided the test was taken before July 26, 2023, or after May 4, 2024. Tests taken within the intervening period are not valid. This reinstatement allows prospective students to demonstrate their English proficiency through a widely recognized test, facilitating their study, work, or relocation plans to Australia.

Read also: Here are new policies moving foreign students away from Australia, Canada, UK – reports

Introduction of the Genuine Student (GS) Requirement

Replacing the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement, the new Genuine Student (GS) requirement will come into effect on March 23, 2024. The GS requirement involves a set of targeted questions instead of the previous 300-word statement. This change aims to provide visa decision-makers with a clearer understanding of the student’s intentions and motivations for studying in Australia, thereby improving the assessment process and ensuring that applicants are genuinely interested in pursuing their education.

Updated English Language Requirements

From March 23, 2024, new English language requirements will apply to all Student Visa and Temporary Graduate Visa applications. International students will need to provide proof of English language proficiency as part of their visa application. This change underscores Australia’s commitment to ensuring that students possess the necessary language skills to succeed in their academic and professional endeavours.

Read also: Japa: 10 tips on how to secure jobs in Australia as an international student

Changes to the Temporary Graduate Visa

Effective July 1, 2024, the duration of post-study work visas will be modified. While the Temporary Graduate visa will continue to offer graduates the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, its length will be adjusted. Notably, graduates who secure employment in skilled occupations during their post-study work period may be eligible for the new 4-year Skills in Demand visa. This visa provides a clear pathway to permanent residency, aligning with Australia’s focus on attracting skilled talent. Importantly, initial stay periods for Indian nationals, as outlined in the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, will remain unchanged.

New Age Limit for Temporary Graduate Visa Applicants

The maximum eligible age for Temporary Graduate visa applicants will be reduced to 35 years, effective July 1, 2024. This change reflects Australia’s intention to streamline the visa process and align it with the country’s demographic and labour market needs.