Japa: Australia Tightens Visa Rules For International Students

The Australian government has reviewed its student visa policy to regulate post-study visa for international students from the middle of 2024.

Australia’s Department of Education announced the new policy that seeks to ensure that student visas into the country are not obtained as a means to stay longer in the country.

When effective, the policy will reduce by half the number of immigrants’ access into Australia through the study route from 510,000 recorded between 2022-23 to about 250,000 in the next two years.

the measure was conceived to tighten visa regulations for international students and low-skilled immigrants as part of the reforms to close supposed loose migration policy.

No fewer than 20 per cent visa applications were reportedly denied in the second half of 2023, according to reports.

The Australian authorities had last July extended its post-study work right with extra two years on Temporary Graduate Visa in certain critical skills shortages sectors to create a pathway to skilled employment.

Students on undergraduate, master’s and doctorate studies in certain fields also had their stay extended to between four to six years depending on their education level.

With the new policy, such stays will now be rolled back into initial two to three years as announced by the country’s education department.

The policy also comes with the introduction of Genuine Student Test which has stricter measures such as increased English proficiency requirements, reduced list of accredited courses and limits on changing courses in a bid to lower students intake into the country.

In the same vein, the English language requirement for the Temporary Graduate visa will increase from an IELTS score of 6 to 6.5 while the age limit for applicants will also be reduced from 50 to 35 years.

The new policy also forbids additional extensions for post-study work rights aside for the students that graduate from regional institutions.

The Australian government is, however, reviewing the policy due to its unfolding economic situation, among other considerations.

Meanwhile, the decision is said to constitute a significant strategy to enhance the integrity as well as the quality of international students willing to study in the country.

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