Changes in Australian Visa Process

By Oliver Payne

There have been recent developments in the Visa application process in Australia. A good thing is most of the changes are beneficial for students applying for higher studies. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has declared changes in the visa application process to ensure smooth transitions. This comes after the Knight review was out. Following are the key points to note:

Student Visa Assessment Levels

  • Assessment levels (AL) have been reduced from five to three.
  • All the students from AL4 country list will now be included in AL3.
  • AL3 students have to show funds for sustaining 12 months only.

The English Language Test

  • Students can submit the results of various English language test like TOEFL iBT, PTE or CAE apart from just IELTS.

Smooth Visa Process

  • Students applying for bachelor degree, master’s degree, doctoral degree, student exchange program or study abroad program who are applying with Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from the respective institutions will be assessed in a similar way as the AL1 applicants to ensure that the visa process goes smoothly.

Student Visa Charges

  • The student visa charges have been decreased from earlier AUD $565 to AUD $535.

Australian Visa Application Process

Employment Constraints

  • Students can now work for more than 40 hours per fortnight.
  • There are no longer restrictions on working maximum 20 hours per week.
  • Students can work without any time restrictions when they have semester breaks.

Cost of Living

  • Cost of living has been increased from AUD$18,000 per year to AUD$18,610 per year.

Post-study work visa

  • Students can apply for a visa of two years after completing bachelors or masters.
  • The term is three years for research students and four years for Ph.D. students.

Skilled Migration

  • Introduction of the new subclasses for skilled migration visa process based on the points-test system.
  • Introduction of an online visa service - SkillSelect.
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