Rule changes for Int’l Students and Temp. Graduate visa applicants

The new strategy includes several measures targeting international education, which the government says will ensure foreign graduates help meet skills shortages.

From early next year, the English language requirements for student and temporary graduate visas will be increased to “improve the quality of students’ educational experience in Australia and reduce potential workplace exploitation”.

Under the International English Language Testing System, students applying for a Graduate visa will require a score of 6.5 up from 6.0, while Student visa applicants will need a 6.0 up from 5.5.

The government says international students and graduates make up the largest share of “permanently temporary” migrants with 108,000 having stayed in Australia for five or more years.

Under the new plan, there will be more scrutiny of those applying for a second visa, with the number of international students staying in Australia on multiple successive student visas growing by more than 30 per cent to 150,000 last year.

“Rarely are these further student visas driving professional advancement and are instead often used by former students to stay in Australia in lieu of meeting permanent resident or other skilled visa requirements,” the strategy says.

It also outlines concerns that dodgy private vocational education and training providers are helping “non-genuine students” gain access to Australia’s labour market through the use of student visas.

“Where growth is driven by non-genuine students and unscrupulous providers, it threatens the integrity and reputation of Australia’s international education sector,” the document says. To address this the government will introduce a new “genuine student test” for all international students which will make it “clear that the vast majority of international students in Australia will return home”.

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