Changes to the Student Visa Program to prevent abuse to the system
Australia is home to many International Students from around the world with 451,096 student visas granted from the year 2008 to 2010.
The government recently announced several changes to the Student Visa program as a continuous effort to improve the integrity of the Student Visa program.
One of the most important reason for the change is to make sure that all student visa applicant are genuine in their application and intent to study in Australia. This is done through several new measures such as:
- Upgrading interview program in India, Mauritius, Nepal, Brazil, Zimbabwe and Pakistan
- Removing or restricting eVisa Access for some student visa agents where there is evidence of fraud or inactivity
Another significant change is the increase to the basic rate of living costs from $12,000 to $18,000 per year for main student with an additional $6300 per year for the student’s partner, $3600 per year for the student’s first child and $2700 per year for every other child. DIAC officer will also do a background check on the student’s previous financial and employment history as well as the source of income used in determining whether or not the student genuinely holds the funds to which they claim to have.
Furthermore, with the new migration regulation, DIAC officers now have a clearer guideline of when to consider giving cancellation to a student visa as a result of a deferral or suspension of their studies. Consideration to cancel a student visa may apply if their deferral or suspension was because of the student’s conduct, existence of fraudulent or misleading evidence and reasons other than compelling and compassionate circumstances
According to Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, “These measures build on the changes already introduced to ensure the student visa program is not open to abuse.”
It will be interesting to see how different student groups and countries respond to this and whether or not this will affect the number of incoming international students in the following years. Stay tune for updates!