Australian student visa process to be streamlined
In an effort to make Australia’s education training and vocational sector more accessible to international students and more profitable to the overall economy, Scott Morrison, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, and Christopher Pyne, the Minister for Education, have announced a series of measures which will hopefully reduce the rules and regulations involved in obtaining a student visa to Australia.
The visa process is currently quite complex and it is felt an easing of the rules will speed up the system and also attract more international students to the country. The two areas the ministers are targeting for reform are the ALF (Assessment Level framework) and the processes and relationships involved with non-degree providers.
Under the new system the assessment levels will be reduced from 5 to 3. Also, financial evidence requirements will be reduced from 18 months to 12 months if the student applicant is funded by a close relative. Overall this would mean the student could apply for a visa with up to $AUD 40,000 as savings in a bank account. This is less than the current rul set out by the regulations when applying for a student visa.
Scott Morrison also highlighted the fact that these changes had not just been put in place to aid the student but also to assist the educational institutions in Australia. In particular the changes could directly benefit providers enrolled in an eligible exchange program. It has therefore been estimated that up to 22 low-risk non-university providers who deliver major educational awards such as Doctoral degrees; Masters degrees and Bachelors degrees.
Both Ministers are highly optimistic that the streamlining of the student visa process will have a direct and positive effect in attracting International students to Australia. Ultimately this will have a powerful effect on the economy of Australia. It is expected that once again the education system will be restored as one of Australia’s most important economic contributors.
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