Australia to make study visa rules stringent from tomorrow: Here’s what you need to know

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Australia has announced plans to tighten study visa regulations beginning March 23, 2024. The new Genuine Student (GS) requirement for student visas will replace the existing Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement. This change, which follows in the footsteps of Canada and the United Kingdom, was announced on December 11, 2023 and will take effect for visa applications submitted after March 23, 2024.
The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statement, which is necessary for showing intent to study and return home, will be replaced by the GS requirement.Under the new rules, the required IELTS score for a Temporary Graduate visa will be increased from 6.0 to 6.5, and for a student visa from 5.5 to 6.0. Additionally, the validity window for the English language test will be reduced to one year.
A new genuine student test will now assess all international students applying for visas, with a focus on their intention to study in Australia. High-risk student applications will face increased scrutiny, while the savings requirement for student visa eligibility has been raised to around $24,500.
According to data shown in media reports, in 2022, Australia hosted 100,009 Indian students, a significant increase from previous years. Concerns arise among experts regarding the potential impact of these visa rule changes on Indian students‘ acceptance rates.
The official notification emphasised that the GS requirement assesses the student’s genuine intent to study in Australia using a variety of criteria such as course progression, immigration history, and visa compliance. This change is aimed to ensure that students genuinely intend to continue their studies in Australia.
The Australian government’s decision to tighten study visa requirements reflects a larger trend of countries rethinking their immigration policies. With the new GS requirement and increased scrutiny on high-risk applications, the landscape for international students wishing to study in Australia is shifting.
Recently, the UK has also made changes to student visas and work permits. Notably, dependent restrictions for the majority of postgraduate students have been tightened. While many postgraduates could previously bring dependents on their student visas, this privilege will be limited to postgraduate research programmes beginning in January 2024. Further, it was announced earlier in July 2023, students will be limited in their ability to switch directly from student visas to work visas before completing their studies. These changes represent a shift in immigration policies, affecting the pathways available to international students seeking education and employment opportunities in the UK.



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