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New rules for international students introduced in Australia

Australia has announced plans to tighten requirements for students, Visa Guide. World reports.

The changes are part of Australia’s migration strategy and will affect all student visa applications from 23 March 2024 onwards. This amendment aims to clarify whether the student is coming to Australia to study, or whether he has a desire to immigrate.

The Australian Department of Home Affairs has clarified that student visa applicants are no longer required to meet the GTE requirement and prove that they intend to reside in Australia temporarily. The GS requirement recognizes that eligible international graduates may also become permanent residents. International students can also become part of the skilled workforce, helping solve the country’s workforce shortages. The change is also aimed at helping the department identify fraudulent tourists seeking to enter Australia to apply to study.

In terms of English language proficiency requirements, Australian authorities have updated them for student and temporary graduate visas. For the Temporary Graduate Visa (TGV), the minimum IELTS test score required for the TGV has increased from 6.0 to 6.5. In addition, each section of the test (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) must now be passed with a minimum score of 5.5. The window to take the English test for TGV has been reduced from 3 years to 1 year. TGV applicants must now take an English language test one year before their visa application date.

Regarding student visas, the authorities announced the following updates:

  • The minimum IELTS score for a student visa has increased from 5.5 to 6;
  • the minimum IELTS score required to take ELICOS courses has increased from 4.5 to 5.0;
  • there will be no changes for English-only students through ELICOS;
  • The IELTS score remains at 5.5 for students of reputable foundation or pathway university programs offering English language instruction.

Changes to English language requirements for student visas will help international students successfully study in Australia and prepare for the job market if they plan to apply for a graduate visa after completing their studies, according to the Migration Strategy. There were more than 567,000 international students in Australia as of January 2024, up 26 percent year-on-year.

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