Students set to benefit from Australian easing of visa rules

Published:  4 Nov at 6 PM
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In order to breath new life into its ailing overseas student education sector, Australia is to announce measures simplifying the student visa process.

Immigration minister Scott Morrison along with education minister Christopher Pyne recently announced that the newly-elected coalition government is working to reverse the damage to the overseas student education sector caused by the previous Labour government. The higher education sector is worth billions of dollars, but has declined due to stringent student visa requirements and processing delays.

A new assessment-level streamlining framework is to be introduced, with streamlined visa processing being extended to non-university degree providers. The move is expected to bring vocational training colleges into the fold, resulting in a boom in applications.

According to Morrison, assessment levels will reduce to three, and financial support evidence will be reduced from 18 to 12 months in the case of funds being provided by expat students’ close relatives. Students from key markets such as India are expected to benefit from the lowering of financial requirements by as much as AU$40,000.

The streamlining of the visa process itself will allow up to 22 non-university course providers to enroll students in an eligible exchange programme as well as Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degree programmes. According to Pyne, the non- university sector is of considerable economic benefit to the overseas student education sector.

Both ministers are convinced that the changes will revitalise the flagging industry and boost the Australian economy by bringing in a high number of overseas students. In past years, the peak earnings level of the industry rose to almost AU$19 billion.
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