Australia – Extension of Student Visa Streamlined Visa Processing arrangements to non-University Education Providers from March
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection announced the proposed extension of Streamlined Visa Processing to certain low immigration risk non-University Higher Education Providers on 29 October 2013
Streamlined Visa Processing arrangements, similar to those currently in place for Universities, are proposed to be extended to prospective students of selected low immigration risk education providers who offer Bachelor, Master’s or Doctoral degree level Courses. We intend for these proposed arrangements to commence in March 2014.
Eligible providers would receive an invitation to participate from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in the first week of November 2013.
Streamlined Visa Processing for certain University applicants has been operating since 24 March 2012. There will be no change to these arrangements or how they operate as a result of this announcement.
The legislative instrument listing the education providers participating in the proposed extended arrangements would be published on the department’s website closer to the implementation date in 2014.
On 29 October 2013 the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection released the findings of the Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level report and announced the government’s proposal to simplify the student visa Assessment Level (AL) Framework.
Subject to the legislative change process, the department proposes to simplify the AL Framework by removing AL4 and AL5. As a result the AL Framework would comprise three assessment levels (AL1 to AL3) with current AL4 countries/sectors reduced to AL3.
The department also proposes to reduce the financial requirement for AL3 student visa applicants from 18 months to 12 months. However, as a result of this change, funds for AL3 applicants would be required to be provided by a close relative of the visa applicant.