• 26 May, 2024

Important Updates for Applying Australia Student Visa

Important Updates for Applying Australia Student Visa

Australia Student Visa Update: In 2022, the number of Indian students in Australia reached over one lakh, marking a continuous increase. The figures surged from 73,808 in 2019 to 33,629 in 2020, and 8,950 in 2021. Despite this rise, the Anthony Albanese-led government has decided to enforce stricter regulations for study visas.

Here are the top five developments and alterations in the Australian international students' landscape for this year:

1. Enhanced English Proficiency Requirements:

Australia has announced stricter visa rules for international students aimed at reducing migrant intake over the next two years. Under the new regulations, international students must achieve higher scores in English proficiency tests, with increased scrutiny on second visa applications, potentially extending their stay.

Previously, students aiming to study in Australia needed a minimum overall score of 6.5 in IELTS, with no band less than 6.0 for postgraduate courses and a minimum overall score of 6.0 for undergraduate programs. However, these requirements are likely to change, so prospective students should check with their chosen universities for updated criteria.

2. Revision of Work Hours:

Following the Covid-19 pandemic, Australia temporarily relaxed the limit on working hours for international students. However, the cap on allowable work hours has been reinstated with modifications.

Starting July 2023, student visa holders can work a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight while studying, equivalent to 24 hours per week. This change aims to provide students with increased flexibility to support themselves while ensuring that studying remains the primary purpose of their visa.

During study breaks as defined by the institution, international students can work unlimited hours. Additionally, hours spent on work as part of the curriculum won't count towards the 48-hour cap. Students pursuing a master's by research or a PhD face no limits on work hours.

Previously, international students were allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight.

3. Mutual Recognition of Indian Educational Degrees:

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced an 'Australia-India education qualification recognition mechanism' on March 8. Under this arrangement, degrees obtained in Australia will be recognized in India, and vice versa. However, this recognition does not extend to professional qualifications at present.

4. Temporary Graduate Visa:

Despite several changes to student visas in recent years, Indian graduates will remain eligible for the Temporary Graduate Visa, allowing them to stay in Australia for:

- Two years after completing a bachelor's degree 
- Three years after completing a master's degree 
- Four years after completing a PhD.

5. Crackdown on Visa Fraud:

Australia experienced a rise in fraudulent attempts to obtain student visas in the past year, particularly from Indian applicants. In response, several Australian universities have imposed restrictions on applications from Indian students, primarily from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.

Edith Cowan University (ECU) confirmed that it had temporarily halted undergraduate student recruitment from Punjab and Haryana to review its admission processes. However, the University of Wollongong (UOW) denied placing bans on applications from Indian students or specific Indian states/regions, stating that it applies standard entry criteria to all international students.

These developments indicate a significant shift in Australia's approach to international student visas, emphasizing stricter regulations, mutual recognition of educational qualifications, and measures to combat visa fraud. Prospective students should stay informed about these changes to navigate the application process effectively.