28 April 2010

Australian Immigration toughens Australian student visa checks

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Evans has defended the strengthened checks of Australian Student Visa applicants while addressing the American Chamber of Commerce in Perth recently.

Australian visa

The Minister for Immigration detailed the Australian Student Visa checks now in place while addressing a chamber of commerce.

Australian Immigration has strengthened measures aimed at cracking down on abuse of the student visa program and authorities have been given increased powers to cancel visas.

Australian Student Visa rules governing the assessment of students studying more than one course have also been strengthened.

Senator Evans said the changes provided a balance between making the Australian visa process easier for genuine students while imposing additional checks on those who may seek to abuse the system.

Students studying more than one course will now be required to meet a higher level of risk assessment within their package of courses, a measure that the minister says will help reduce fraud by ensuring students are not able to select courses purely for a more favorable risk assessment level. 

Australian Student Visa cancellation guidelines have also been strengthened where a student is found to have deferred or suspended their studies for non-genuine reasons.

"International students who are genuinely experiencing difficult circumstances will still be able to take temporary leave from their studies," Senator Evans said.

"However, my department now has an improved capacity to verify students' claims where there are not compassionate or compelling reasons for deferral or suspension."

There are also new rules aimed at streamlining Australian visa requirements for prospective postgraduate students from all countries.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australian visa applications with the Australian Embassy.   

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