Australia announces changes to student visa programme - New Student VISA rules for Australia

The Government of Australia has announced implementation of a number of changes to the student visa programme focussed upon improving the competitiveness of Australia's international education sector and the integrity of the visa program.

The changes flow from the recent strategic review of Australia's student visa programme by Michael Knight. Further changes, including streamlined visa processing arrangements for participating universities are due to be implemented in 2012.

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ID:	7754Under the new changes, from November 5, student visa applicants will need to include a confirmation of enrolment (COE), issued by their intended education provider, as part of their student visa applications. This is aimed at improving processing time as students will no longer need to wait for a Pre-visa Assessment (PVA) letter to be issued by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) before arranging their COE.

Changes have also being made to reduce the financial requirements for Assessment Level (AL) 3 and 4 students. A reduction in the period of funds to be shown upfront with a visa application should make obtaining a student visa to Australia more competitive with other popular study destinations.

A new Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criterion was also implemented on November 5. This will assist Australia to ensure that students are intending a temporary stay only for the purposes of their education. GTE will be assessed by interview in most cases and will consider the student's background and the value of the course to their future.

Peter Varghese, High Commissioner of Australia to India, said, I strongly support these changes which will make Australia a more attractive study destination for high quality students from India seeking to gain an international education. Australia is a quality education destination and these changes will further strengthen that reputation. We look forward to welcoming high quality students from India. Australia is a great place to study and I encourage all Indian students to consider the many benefits of studying in Australia.

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