Coalition Flags Changes to Post Study Work Visas and Student Visas by End of 2013

webster By Mark Webster
Tuesday, 01 October 2013

Alarmed by the 20-25% decline in Australia's international education industry, the Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, has announced that the settings for Post Study Work Visas and Student Visa streamlined processing will be reviewed.

The Minister indicated that fixing international education is of the highest priority. He indicated that he will be seeking to introduce changes before the end of 2013 so that the impact of the changes will be felt by the second half of 2014.

What are the possible changes?

The Minister stated that changes introduced by the previous government to restrict students remaining in Australia after their studies have damaged Australia's international reputation. We are likely to see:
  • A review of the Post Study Work Visa (PSWV) stream of the subclass 485 visa. Hopefully this will include allowing students who made their first student visa prior to 5 November 2011 eligible to apply for the PSWV
  • A reconsideration of the "decoupling" of international education and migration. This may result in international students completing studies in Australia receiving incentives in applying for permanent residence through General Skilled Migration

Student Visa Streamlining

The Minister also mentioned student visa streamlining as one of the issues he was concerned about. Student visa streamlining was introduced as part of the Knight Review into International Education. It results in faster and simpler processing - but only where studies are at the bachelor level or higher. This puts Vocational Education providers at a relative disadvantage in attracting international students. It is as yet unclear what direction the changes will take, but it may well be that streamlining of student visas for vocational studies may be on the cards.

When will the changes come into effect?

Exact details of the changes have not yet been announced, and we will notify readers as soon as these have been released.

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