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Changes to the Australian Student Visa Framework

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Are you considering coming to Australia to study? Are you unsure about which subclass of student visa is correct for the studies you will be undertaking in Australia? On 16 June 2015 the Minister for Education and Training Christopher Pyne and the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash announced the introduction of a simplified international student visa framework (SSVF), which will be implemented halfway through 2016.

What are the key changes to the new Australian Student Visa framework?

The two key changes under the new framework will be the reduction of the number of student visa subclasses from eight to two, and the introduction of a single framework to assess the immigration risk of a visa applicant, which must be passed by all international students.

The Government media release states that “The SSVF will replace both the Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) arrangements and the current Assessment Level Framework and will apply to all international students. It will lay out a student’s financial and English language evidentiary requirements based on two things: the immigration profile of the student’s country of citizenship and of their education provider.”

In an article for The Australian newspaper on 2 September 2015 the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash wrote that the new framework would “guide a student’s financial and English language evidentiary requirements based on the immigration risk outcomes of their country of citizenship and intended education provider.”

This comes on the back of the release of figures which show that 10,949 student visas were cancelled in the year ending June 2015 for lack of genuine study, an increase of more than one-third on the same period for the previous year.

If you have any questions about your current Australian student visa, or need assistance with the visa application process, please contact our migration team at Ferguson Cannon Lawyers.


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