11 November 2011

Australia visa fees for students slashed

The change to the financial requirement for Australian student visa applications begins this week, following the implementation of the Knight Review findings.

Australia visa application

The implementation of the Knight Review recommendations for Australian student visa reform began this week.

Prospective international students will now need up to $36,000 less when applying for an Australia visa, as the Australian Government rolls out the first stage of its student visa reforms.

"The change that came in this week recognises that the financial requirements for student visas were often too onerous, and discouraged applicants from choosing Australia as their preferred study destination," said Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen in a statement.

"Applicants for the vocational education and training and private education sectors in particular will benefit from this change."

The Government has also taken away the requirement to meet a minimum English skills level before applying for a visa.

Among the other changes implemented is the introduction of a new 'genuine temporary entrant' requirement for all student visa applicants, which allows the immigration department to ensure students intend to stay in Australia on a temporary basis.

"We want to avoid the situation where student visa holders are desperate to stay in Australia to work to pay off large study debts amassed at home," Mr Bowen said.

"While international students may aspire to remain in Australia, if they cannot achieve permanent residency or long-term employee sponsorship, they need to return to their home countries."

The changes to the student visa system are being introduced in response to the recommendations of former NSW Government minister Michael Knight in his review of the Australian international education sector.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people emigrate to Australia and lodge applications with the Australian High Commission.

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