Australia will lower its student visa requirements

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship will change the current student visa rules in order to attract more students from what it considers as “high risk” countries such as China and India. According to the recommendations of the Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework 2013 report which was released earlier this week, the Australian government is likely to streamline the student visa Assessment Level Framework (ALF). One of the proposed changes will be to lower financial requirements for applicants that come from those countries. This means that many students who come from China and India will be able to apply for Australian Student Visa with 40 000 Australian Dollars less in their bank accounts. The new changes will be well received by the Australian educational industry. The higher education sector in the country is one of the most significant exporters of Australia. The monetary value that foreign students add to the Australian economy is estimated to be more than 4 billion AUD per year.

According to a variety of industry experts the strict student visa requirements that were introduced by the previous government were responsible for the closure of many privately-owned colleges. In addition to that, the number of Indian students which choose Australia as a destination for their higher education was significantly reduced. Nevertheless India currently ranks as Australia’s second largest source of foreign students. Even though the visa grant rate has increased dramatically – over 70 percent – for Indian students in the last financial year, the number of students commencing studies Down Under is still far from the levels reached in 2009.

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