Simplified student visa framework

Practical improvements to Australia’s visa framework take effect tomorrow, 1 July 2016.

The simplified student visa framework (SSVF) includes a reduction in the number of student visa subclasses from eight to two (one student visa and a student guardian visa) and the introduction of a simplified single immigration risk framework for all international students.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s First Assistant Secretary, Immigration and Citizenship Policy Division, David Wilden, said student visa settings are an important part of Australia’s international education strategy.

“The value of our international education sector – Australia’s third-largest export industry and our largest services export – was estimated to exceed $19 billion in 2014–15,” he said.

“The recently released National Strategy for International Education acknowledges the Department’s role in supporting international mobility through administration of the student visa programme.”

The SSVF will mean a broader, simpler and fairer framework for genuine international students and Australian education providers.

A visa framework that is simpler to navigate and that provides a more targeted approach to immigration integrity will reduce red tape and improve productivity and international competitiveness.

Under the SSVF, students will no longer be subject to the complexity of the current process. Instead students will apply online for a single student visa subclass and be assessed under a single immigration risk framework.

Online application is in line with the Department’s policy to increase digital services and helps simplify the application process.

More information is at:

General information: student visa – from 1 July 2016

On 1 July 2016, Australia will make a number of changes to its student visa processes. These changes include the introduction of the SSVF

Under the SSVF:

  • all international students will now apply for a single Student visa (subclass 500), regardless of their chosen course of study
  • all international students will be required to apply for thist visa online
  • a new immigration risk framework will be used to guide the evidence of English language and financial capacity that a student needs to provide with their visa application.

Why the Australian Government is making these changes

The SSVF will support the sustainable growth of Australia’s international education sector by making the process of applying for student visas simpler to navigate for genuine students, delivering a more targeted approach to immigration integrity and reducing red tape for business.


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