The number of international students in Australia is growing strongly, with the process soon to be made even easier with the introduction of the simplified student visa framework (SSVF) by the Federal Government.
The changes come after Australia’s intake of new students reached its highest level ever last year in 2015.
Here are the top things you need to know about the SSVF if you are thinking of studying in Australia.
What are the changes?
The changes will involve:
- A reduction in the number of student visa subclasses from eight to two; and
- The introduction of a simplified single immigration risk framework for all international students.
Why the change?
The current system was originally put in place to encourage international students to enrol in Australian education courses.
However, the system meant that some immigration agents targeted it for the wrong purpose, resulting in three times the amount of student visa cancellations for non-genuine students.
Australia’s government introduced the changes in an effort to reduce “red tape” and make the process simpler for genuine international students to understand and navigate.
When will the changes roll out?
The new scheme is expected to be active by the middle of 2016.
What do these changes mean?
The new SSVF will mean that:
- As of mid-2016, international students will no longer have to undergo the same complex process when applying for a visa. Currently, students have to select the correct visa subclass to apply for and the risk framework they will be assessed against, which can be tricky and very confusing.
- Under the new SSVF, students will only need to apply for a single student visa subclass and be assessed under a single immigration risk framework.
- Based off previous years’ modelling, that will mean that 85% of students should find the new SSVF process much easier. That’s because around 85% of applications will be considered “lower risk” applications under the new system, meaning students will not need to supply as much evidence when applying for a visa.
- Under SSVF, evidentiary requirements will be based on the combined immigration risk of the student’s country of citizenship and their chosen education provider. These statistics are confidential.
- If your application is deemed to be “low risk”, your application will be much easier under the new system.
- However, the department still has the right to seek additional information about a student’s financial capacity and English language proficiency where appropriate.
The changes will hopefully communicate to the world that Australia is “open for business” to high quality, genuine international students.
The changes are aimed at not only making the application process less complicated for students wanting to study in Australia, but also maintaining high standards of immigration integrity.