The Telegraph put out the proposed student visa reforms under a sadly worded title AUSSIE VISA PENANCE (see link) and advises…
…The changes announced today will enable universities to get quick visa approvals for foreign students from any country and the right to two years of work after graduation. It has done away with the condition put on students from “high-risk countries” to show bank deposits of up to Australian $75,000 (Rs 36 lakh). Students will now only need to furnish a declaration that they have the funds to cover expenses.
Not just them… but several newspapers in India and also in Australia reported that all recommendations have been fully accepted. I guess this is only true in spirit and in principle since several of them will have to be interpreted once again as per DIAC and based on circumstances in each country and certainly the impression that floodgates have been opened is just not right.
The Universities too have been misreading the announcements and one public University circulated an advisory that states…
- Students applying to bachelors, masters and research courses will be treated in the lowest risk category (Assessment Level 1) regardless of their country of origin.
- Students applying for ELICOS and/or Diploma packaged with a bachelors course will be assessed at Assessment Level 1.
- Assessment Level 1 applicants must meet the financial requirements which are to “give a declaration that they have access to funds for the full period of their study to cover course fees, living costs, dependent costs and travel”. For many students this is a significant easing of the current evidentiary fund requirement.
Another institutions alerted their partners in an informal email that its time to “dance on the streets” and that India was AL1 now.
Well, well, well…
I think we will all be very naïve if we assume that Australia will commit the blunder of “apply all and visa to all” policy and certainly that will not happen. I honestly would not like that to happen too.
The change of AL in India from 4 to 3 too led to an increase in fraud and also professional sponsorships and if Australia will make all countries as AL1 in “all senses” it will be negative for the country and soon we will be having another review.
Hence, I went about reading the small fonts and detailed guidelines as-available to discover…
Reproduced below is cut-paste from FAQs from the immigration site.
How would the streamlined arrangements work?
It is proposed that students with a CoE for an eligible course in a participating Australian university would generally have reduced evidentiary requirements when applying for a student visa, regardless of their nationality, as they would be treated as though they are all Assessment Level 1 (AL1) applicants.
The students would still have to satisfy requirements in regard to English-language and finances and would have to meet the new genuine temporary entrant requirement. However, they would not have the same documentary burdens that currently exist under the higher ALs.
In addition, all applicants would still be subject to basic requirements such as having health insurance and not being a security or health risk. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) would also reserve the right to look more closely at applications from any group that pose a particular concern.
How would the financial requirements for higher risk AL3 and AL4 student visa applicants change?
The government proposes to reduce the financial requirements for AL3 and AL4 student visa applicants in the following way:
- evidence of funds for AL4 applicants would be reduced from 36 to 24 months and their savings history reduced from six to three months
- evidence of funds for AL3 applicants would be reduced from 24 to 18 months.
This would reduce the financial requirements by around AUD36 000 for an AL4 applicant and around AUD18 000 for an AL3 applicant.
So, we can summarize that the streamlining is akin to fast-tracking and quicker processing and applicable to Universities that sign the dotted lines. However it has no bearing on the financial requirements for the visas. Indian students for 573 are AL3 and hence will now have to now demonstrate lesser funds but not as per AL1 requirement. It will now be for 18 months instead for 24 months.
Does this clear some confusion??? I would urge DIAC to provide more and more details specific to each of the countries so that there is just no undesired rumors.
Now that I have had the time to digest the changes, the biggest plus that we have is the introduction of Post Study Work. And as I had recommended in one of my earlier blogs, this by itself has the potential to make Australia an attractive destination across disciplines.
In my yesterday’s blog https://ravilochansingh.com/2011/09/22/australian-student-visa-reforms-michael-knight-delivers-family-delighted-though-baby-slightly-pre-matured/ I did critique the recommendations and going by the hits and comments on it, I do believe that it has served its purpose. However, I am sorry for having ruined some “dancing on the streets”.
ADDITIONAL NOTES TO THIS POST (BEING ADDED ON 29TH SEPTEMBER):