Reduction of certain Australian Student Visas Assessment levels

Australian Student Visa Assessment Levels for 38 countries, for one or more Student Visa Subclasses, will be reduced from 2 April 2011. All applications lodged on or after 2 April 2011 are subject to these new assessment levels.

Prospective students and their families, agents and education providers should be aware that these changes will lower the minimum evidentiary requirements needed for the grant of a Student visa for the selected countries and education sectors. However, the reductions to assessment levels do not change the likelihood of a former student in Australia obtaining permanent residence.

A Student visa entitles international students to come to Australia on a temporary basis for a specified period to undertake study at an Australian educational institution. While many international students make a decision to apply for permanent residence upon completing their studies, this is an entirely separate process. There is no guarantee that by previously having a Student visa, a person will meet the requirements to be granted permanent residence.

Further information on assessment levels and a full list of assessment levels for different countries in each education sector is available on the department’s website.

Frequently asked Questions

Q: Which countries and visa subclasses will have their assessment levels lowered?

A: There are 38 countries that will have their assessment levels lowered across one or more subclasses. The full list of affected countries is available on the department’s website.

Q: I am an international student studying in Australia. Do these changes affect me? When do these changes take place?

A: These changes will only affect new Student visa applications made on or after 2 April 2011.

Q: What does a reduction of assessment levels mean to Student visa applicants?

A: Students affected by the changes will be required to provide less documentary evidence to support their claims for the grant of a Student visa. These may include evidence of English language proficiency, financial capacity and academic qualifications (more detail is provided in the summary of key requirements for Student visa applicants table). Those who are subject to Assessment Level 1 are eligible to lodge online internet based applications.

Summary of key requirements for Student visa applicants

Assessment level Evidence of English language proficiency Evidence of financial capacity Academic qualifications
2 Enrolment by education provider
  • evidence of funds from an acceptable source to pay for their expenses for the first 12 months of their stay
  • a declaration that they have sufficient funds to support the remainder of their stay in Australia

Note: Funds can be provided by any individual willing to support the applicant if they can demonstrate their income stream.

Postgraduate
research:

Undergraduate
degree
All other sectors:
enrolment by
education provider
3 Independent English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)
and schools:

enrolment by education
provider

Vocational Education and Training (VET) and non-award:
5.5 International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or 4.5 IELTS
with a preliminary ELICOS course

Higher education and
postgraduate research:

6.0 IELTS or 5.0 IELTS with ELICOS course

  • evidence of funds from an acceptable source (a money deposit or a loan with an acceptable financial institution) to pay for their expenses for the first 24 months of their stay (or duration of preliminary plus first 12 months of principal course for Postgraduate Research)
  • a declaration that they have sufficient funds to support the remainder of their stay in Australia

 

Note: Funds can be provided by any individual willing to support the applicant if they can demonstrate their income stream.

  • if evidence of funds is a money deposit, must show a three months savings history
Schools:
Completed year six

VET: Completed
year 11

Higher education:
Completed year 12
or year 11 and
foundation studies
or Certificate IV

Postgraduate
research:

Undergraduate
degree

4 Independent ELICOS:
5.0 IELTS

Schools:
If over 16 years, 5.0 IELTS or 4.0 IELTS with
preliminary ELICOS

VET and non-award:
5.5 IELTS or 5.0 IELTS with a preliminary ELICOS course

Higher education and
postgraduate research:

6.0 IELTS or 5.0 IELTS with ELICOS course

  • evidence of funds from an acceptable source (a money deposit or a loan with an acceptable financial institution) to pay for their expenses for the first 36 months of their stay (or duration of preliminary plus first 12 months of principal course for postgraduate research)
  • a declaration that they have sufficient funds to support the remainder of their stay in Australia
  • funds must be provided by close relatives only who can demonstrate their income stream
  • if evidence of funds is a money deposit, must show a six months savings history
Schools:
Completed year nine
VET: Completed
year 12
Higher education:
Completed year 12 or year 11 and
foundation studies or Certificate IV

Postgraduate
research:

Undergraduate
degree

5 All subclasses:
IELTS 7.0
  • evidence of funds (money deposits) to pay for their expenses for the full period of their stay
  • funds must be provided by the applicant
  • evidence of income stream
  • if evidence of funds is a money deposit, must show a five year savings history
Postgraduate
research:

Undergraduate
degree
All other sectors:
Year 12.
Evidence of relevance to current or prospective employment

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