The Australia immigration minister has announced new Australian Student Visa measures.
16 December 2010
Australia immigration minister announces student visa review
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, have announced a review of the student visa program.
The government has also announced a package of measures for the international education sector, which has come under increasing pressure as a result of the rising value of the Australian dollar, the ongoing impact of the global financial crisis in some countries, and growing competition from the United States, New Zealand and Canada for international students.
The strategic review of the Australian Student Visa program will give education providers and stakeholders an important opportunity to share their vision of the sector’s future.
“The review is tasked with enhancing the continued competitiveness of the international education sector, as well as strengthening the integrity of the student visa program,” Mr Evans said.
The government has appointed the Hon Michael Knight AO to undertake the review, and to report to Mr Bowen and Senator Evans by mid-2011.
The government is also introducing a package of measures to streamline the visa application process for lower risk cohorts while continuing to maintain Australia immigration integrity.
The measures include:
Reducing the student visa assessment levels from April 2011 as indicated in the recent assessment level review conducted by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). As part of this decision, the higher education visa assessment levels for applicants from China and India will also be reduced.
Refining the rules to further enable pre-paid boarding fees to be counted toward students' cost of living requirements in their visa application.
Improved information exchange between the government and the international education sector, including provision of a quarterly statistical publication on the student visa program that will soon be available from the DIAC website to allow the sector to track emerging student visa trends.
Enabling assessment level 4 vocational education and training (VET) students to undertake a package of certificate level courses to meet visa requirements.