A Look at Australia’s Student Visa Changes 2024: Updates till date

Staying informed about changes in visa and education regulations is crucial for international students planning to study in Australia. In 2024, there have been significant updates to the rules affecting international students. This blog will cover three major changes: the increase in the financial capacity requirement, the introduction of the Genuine Student (GS) requirement, and the new English language requirements. Understanding these changes will help prospective students better prepare for their educational journey in Australia.

1. Increase to the Financial Capacity Requirement for Student and Student Guardian Visas

From May 10, 2024, the Australian government has increased the financial capacity requirement for Student and Student Guardian visas. This change aims to ensure that international students can maintain a reasonable standard of living while studying in Australia.

New Financial Requirements

  • Primary applicant: AUD 29,710 (up from AUD 24,505)
  • Spouse or de facto partner: AUD 10,394 (up from AUD 8,574)
  • Dependent child: AUD 4,449 (up from AUD 3,670)
  • Annual school costs: AUD 13,502 (up from AUD 9,661)
  • Personal annual income (no family): AUD 87,856 (up from AUD 72,465)
  • Personal annual income (with family): AUD 102,500 (up from AUD 84,543)

Rationale Behind the Update

  • Aligns with 75% of the national minimum wage
  • Ensures students have sufficient funds to cover living expenses during their stay
  • Reduces the risk of financial distress, visa condition breaches, and worker exploitation

Implications for International Students

  • Students need to demonstrate higher financial capacity to qualify for a visa
  • Helps students make more informed decisions about their studies and stay in Australia
  • Applications submitted before May 10, 2024, will be assessed based on the previous requirements.

These updates reflect the Australian government’s commitment to ensuring that international students can support themselves financially while studying, thereby enhancing their overall experience and well-being. To learn more visit the Department of Home Affairs website. 

2. New Genuine Student Requirement

Effective from March 23, 2024, the Australian government has introduced the Genuine Student (GS) requirement, replacing the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement for Student visas. This change is part of the Migration Strategy announced on December 11, 2023.

What is the Genuine Student (GS) Requirement?

  • The GS requirement assesses a student’s genuine intention to study in Australia.
  • It removes the need for students to prove they intend to stay in Australia only temporarily.
  • Acknowledges that pathways to permanent residence are available to eligible graduates.

Implications for International Students

  • Simplifies the application process by focusing on the student’s intention to study.
  • Supports students who wish to stay in Australia post-study through skilled migration pathways.
  • Helps identify and filter out non-genuine students who might seek entry for purposes other than studying.

Retention of GTE for Student Guardian Visa Applicants

  • The Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement will still apply to Student Guardian visa applicants.

This update aims to streamline the visa application process for genuine international students, making it easier for those who truly intend to study and potentially build a future in Australia. If you want to learn more and get tips on how to tackle the GS requirement click on the link

3. New English Language Requirements

Starting from March 23, 2024, the Australian Government has implemented new English language requirements for Student and Temporary Graduate visas. These changes are part of the Migration Strategy announced on December 11, 2023, aimed at enhancing the educational experience and workforce readiness of international students.

Temporary Graduate Visa (TGV) Changes

  • Minimum IELTS Score: The required IELTS score increases from 6.0 to 6.5 (or equivalent), with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component (reading, writing, speaking, listening).
  • Test Validity Window: The validity period for English language tests reduces from 3 years to 1 year. Applicants must now provide evidence of completing an English test within 1 year before the visa application date.

Student Visa Changes

  • Minimum IELTS Score: The required IELTS score increases from 5.5 to 6 (or equivalent).
  • Packaged ELICOS Programs: The minimum IELTS score increases from 4.5 to 5.0.
  • English Only through ELICOS: No changes to the requirements.
  • University Foundation/Pathway Programs: The required IELTS score is set at 5.5 (or equivalent).
  • VET and Higher Education Courses: Increased English requirements for students transitioning from packaged ELICOS courses to ensure successful course progression.

Purpose of These Changes

  • Enhancing Educational Experience: The reforms aim to ensure that students have a sufficient level of English proficiency to fully engage in their studies and succeed academically.
  • Workforce Readiness: By raising the English proficiency bar, the government ensures that graduates are well-prepared for the skilled workforce, contributing effectively to the Australian economy.

These updated requirements are designed to uphold the quality of education and support international students in achieving their academic and professional goals in Australia. To learn more visit the Department of Home Affairs website. 

As Australia continues to be a preferred destination for international education, these changes reflect the government’s efforts to uphold high standards of education and provide valuable opportunities for students worldwide. It’s essential for prospective students and education stakeholders to stay informed about these updates to navigate the visa application process effectively and make informed decisions about studying in Australia.

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