Australia plans to tighten rules around student visas

In late 2022, Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs, Clare O’Neil, announced that the government would review the country’s immigration system. The review found that some international students are abusing their study visas to work and migrate to Australia, undermining the quality of education for genuine foreign students. The review also found that the current policy arrangements are not effective in selecting the most qualified graduates for permanent residency.

The full list of recommendations for student immigration and visas is as follows:

  • Reviewing the cap on the number of hours that international students can work while they are studying.
  • Automatically granting a temporary graduate visa to international students who complete their studies in Australia.
  • Aligning the duration of temporary graduate visas with the amount of time it takes to find a skilled job in Australia.
  • Investigating ways to create a specific and direct pathway to permanent residency for high-performing international students.
  • Aligning the English language requirements for student and graduate visas with the requirements for skilled visas.
  • Introducing a “Genuine Student” test to replace the “Genuine Temporary Entrant” criteria.

The Minister said that the changes were designed to ensure that Australia’s immigration system is fair and efficient, and that it meets the needs of both international students and the Australian economy.