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Increased proof of funds, GST, 3 other key changes in Australia’s international student visa policy

Australia’s foreign student visa regulations have undergone changes aimed at improving the quality of education and student welfare. For students planning to study in Australia, understanding these changes are very important. In this article, we’ll explore the five key adjustments and their implications.

1. Increased Financial Requirements

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To secure an Australian student visa, applicants must now demonstrate savings of $2,455 AUD, which is a 17% increase from the previous amount. This change, effective from October 1, 2023, underscores the government’s focus on ensuring that students have adequate financial resources to support themselves during their studies.

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2. Genuine Student Test (GST)

The introduction of the Genuine Student Test (GST) replaces the previous criteria for temporary admission. This test aims to assess whether applicants genuinely intend to study in Australia or if they have alternative motives, such as seeking employment opportunities. By prioritizing genuine students, the Australian government seeks to uphold the integrity of its education system.

3. Higher English Language Standards

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Another modification is the raising of English language requirements for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Undergraduate programs now require a minimum ASILE score of 6.0, up from 5.5, while postgraduate programs demand a score of 6.5, increased from 6.0. This adjustment ensures that students have the necessary language skills to succeed in their academic pursuits and effectively communicate in an English-speaking environment.

4. Revised University Ranking System

The Australian Department of Home Affairs has implemented a new ranking system for universities based on risk levels. Under this system, institutions are categorized into three groups according to their compliance with visa regulations. Group 1 universities, with the lowest risk, undergo faster visa processing, while institutions in Groups 2 and 3 face longer processing times. Applicants from Groups 2 and 3 may also be required to provide additional documentation, reflecting the government’s efforts to maintain the integrity of the visa system.

5. Changes to Post-Study Work Rights

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The duration of post-study work rights for international students has been reduced to a standard two- to three-year period. Previously, this duration varied based on the student’s level of study, ranging from 4 to 6 years. This change, announced by the Australian Department of Education, impacts international graduates’ ability to live and work in Australia following the completion of their studies.

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In summary, these modifications to Australia’s foreign student visa regulations aim to enhance the quality of education, protect the integrity of the visa system, and ensure that students have the necessary resources and language skills to succeed in their academic endeavors. By understanding and adapting to these changes, prospective international students can navigate the application process with confidence and embark on a rewarding educational journey in Australia.

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