Student Visa Changes 2024

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The Australian announced the Migration Strategy on 11 December 2023. Many parts of the migration program will see some changes in 2024. For student visa applications, the most prominent change is the replacement of the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement with a new one fittingly called the Genuine Student (GS) requirement. It will require evidence to help the Department of Home Affairs ensure that applications are received from genuine students.

The new direction looks very similar to the old one with few subtle differences. In brief, the criterion evaluates whether applicants genuinely intend to stay in Australia temporarily for educational purposes. Here’s a breakdown of the key considerations:

  1. Decision-makers carefully review all specified factors and any additional information provided by applicants to determine the authenticity of their intentions.
  2. In cases where additional scrutiny is deemed necessary, decision-makers may request further information from applicants to ensure a comprehensive assessment.
  3. Factors for Consideration:
    • Applicants’ reasons for studying abroad, personal ties, economic and political circumstances, and military service commitments are among the factors evaluated.
    • Potential Circumstances in Australia: Decision-makers consider applicants’ ties with Australia, intentions behind the visa application, relationships, and knowledge of living in Australia.
    • Value of the Chosen Course*: The relevance of the selected course to applicants’ future prospects is carefully assessed.
    • Immigration History: Past visa and travel history, including compliance with visa conditions, are taken into account.
    • For minor applicants, decision-makers consider the intentions of parents, legal guardians, or spouses.

In essence, the genuine temporary entrant criterion ensures the integrity of the visa system by ensuring that applicants genuinely seek educational opportunities in Australia. The subtle difference apparently that it is no longer an obstacle if an applicant’s intention is to seek permanent residency in Australia as part of the Australian educational plan.

Furthermore, in March 2024, another criterion for the student visa has changes which is the English language requirements for Student visas. The new English language requirements will better support learning and employment outcomes for applicant.

The test score required for a student Subclass 500 visa has increased from IELTS (or equivalent) 5.5 to 6.0.

The test score required for students undertaking an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) before their main course of study will increase from IELTS (or equivalent) 4.5 to 5.0.

The test score required for students undertaking university foundation or pathway programs that deliver reputable English language training will be IELTS (or equivalent) 5.5.

Additionally, no Concurrent Confirmation of Enrolment can be issued until students have completed 6 months of their courses and an increase the amount of saving international students need to prove when apply for a student visa.

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