New simplified student visa framework from 01/07/2016

New simplified student visa framework from 01/07/2016

By Leila Reypour
MARN 0848264

From 1 July 2016, the application process for student visas will be changed to a simplified student visa framework (SSVF) to support Australia’s education services sector.

Key changes

Key changes are as follows:

  • a reduction in the number of student visa subclasses from eight to two
  • Onshore lodgement is possible for all students - providing they do not hold certain types of prohibited visas.
  • Simplification of English and financial requirements for Student Visas
  • Changes to the 8202 "Maintain Enrolment" visa condition

Onshore Lodgement for All Students

From 1 July 2016, it will be possible to apply onshore for a student visa providing you hold a substantive visa.

Simplification of English and Financial Requirements

The Assessment Level will be changed to the risk level of the country of passport and the education provider. If you are considered from low risk countries, then it will be possible to lodge your student visa application without evidence of English and financial resources.

English Requirements

The following applicants will be exempt from English Language testing:

  • Hold a passport from the UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Ireland
  • Enrolled in an ELICOS course, school or post-graduate research course
  • Foreign affairs, defence or secondary exchange students
  • Completed Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in Australia
  • Substantially completed a Cert IV or higher in Australia
  • Completed 5 years of study in English medium in Australia, Canada, NZ, South Africa, Ireland, UK or USA

If English testing is required, the level required will depend on whether the course is packaged with an ELICOS course as follows:

Test

Score

10 Weeks ELICOS

20 Weeks ELICOS

IELTS

5.5 Average

5 Average

4.5 Average

TOEFL (Paper)*

527

500

450

TOEFL iBT

46

35

32

CAE

162

154

147

PTE

42

36

30

OET

B Pass

B Pass

B Pass

* The paper-based TOEFL is only accepted if taken in certain countries.

Financial Requirement

If you are not considered "low risk" you would need to show evidence of Travel Expenses, Living costs for the first 12 months of your stay in Australia, Course fees for the first 12 months of study

Living costs would be as follows for a 12 month period:

  • $19,830: main applicant
  • $6,940: partner or spouse
  • $2,970: for each dependent child
  • $8,000: schooling costs for dependent children

There is no restriction in terms of who can provide financial support

Changes to 8202 "Maintain Enrolment" Condition

From 1 July, condition 8202 will be changed to prohibit students swapping to a lower course. For example, if a student is studying an advanced diploma at AQF level 7, then can only change the course to AQF 7 or higher.

References

Department of Immigration and Border Protection