From 1 July 2016, there will be only one student visa available to study in Australia – the Student visa (subclass 500).
Australian Student visa (subclass 500).
The official line from the Australian government is that the new subclass 500 student visa will “support the sustainable growth of Australia’s international education sector by making the process of applying for a student visa simpler to navigate for genuine students, delivering a more targeted approach to immigration integrity and reducing red tape for business.”
Reading between the lines however, the Australian government is also looking to increase their control over those ‘students’ who have used the old Student Visa class as a means to gain legal access to Australia without the intention of further study.
The changes include the provision of a Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement
Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement Australian Student Visas
The GTE requirement applies to all student visa applicants and considers whether the individual circumstances of the student indicate that their intention is for a temporary stay in Australia.
A genuineness assessment is made by taking into account a number of personal factors relating to the student, such as their immigration history, circumstances that might encourage the student to return to their home country and conditions that might encourage them to remain in Australia.
Simplified Student visa Framework (SSVF).
These changes also include the introduction of a simplified student visa framework (SSVF).
Under the SSVF:
- all international students will now apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500), regardless of their chosen course of study
- all international students will be required to apply for their student visa online
- a new immigration risk framework will be used to guide the evidence of English language and financial capacity that a student needs to provide with their visa application.
Australian Student Visa (Subclass 500)
After 1 July 2016, if you want to study in Australia, you will need to apply for the Student visa (subclass 500) regardless of your field of study.
Current Australian Student visa holders
If you hold a student visa with subclass numbers 570 to 576, your visa will remain valid and your visa conditions will not change after 1 July 2016.
After 1 July 2016, family members of Student visa holders (subclasses 570-576) will need to apply for a subclass 500 visa if they want to join a family member in Australia.