Recent changes to the Temporary Visa Framework: restructuring of the Student Visa Programme.

The first quarter of 2016/17 has seen some significant changes in the temporary visa framework, starting with the major restructuring of the Student visa programme which took place on the first day of the new financial year.

Effective from 1st July 2016, the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) reduced the number of subclasses from 8 to 2. The purpose of the revamp was essentially to streamline and reduce complexities of the student visa processing system, and to ensure widespread accessibility to Australian education.  Key features of the new framework include:

  • A Subclass 500 to apply to all chosen forms of study.
  • A Subclass 590 for student guardians.
  • Introduction of an immigration risk framework for all international students.
  • Financial and English language documentary requirements guided by a student’s country of citizenship + risk factor of the chosen education provider (EP).
  • A move towards online visa applications.

Since the implementation of the SSVF, there has also been an increased emphasis on the need to prove the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) component, as an integrity measure to ensure that the programme is not used as an avenue of maintaining ongoing residency in Australia.   The GTE component requires visa applicants to provide justification for undertaking the course, considering factors such as career progression, personal and financial circumstances, and even the education framework available in their country of citizenship, as compared to that of Australia.

While the intent of the SSVF is ultimately, to streamline and simplify the student visa programme, alike all new systems, the transition hasn’t been entirely smooth. The complexities of the new system have resulted in, delays in the granting of visas and even a reported rise in the number of refusals.

As a student, it’s important that you start your career on the right path.  Consult with an Education Agent & Registered Migration Agent on the study options which best align to your circumstances and work with a trusted advisor, to ensure that your study plans are on the right track.

Written by: Yi Main Cheong | Business Development Manager for the ISA Group | MARN: 1385224 | migration@isa.com.au