Australia Student Visa Streamlined System Expands
Around 60 “low risk” education providers are in line to be able to offer students fast-tracked visas as the government drafts new rules to revive the international education industry.
Following concerns that competitors in Britain and the United states are getting the jump on Australia by processing visas more quickly, the Australian government introduced expedited arrangements for university applicants from 25th March, this year.
Under the changes, all foreign applicants with a confirmation of enrolment from a University are considered to be in the lowest risk category for immigration purposes – assessment level one.
But the vast majority of TAFE’s private colleges and English language schools remain locked out of the streamlined system, which means their students must jump through more hoops to secure visas.
Under pressure from state ministers, the federal government has promised to extend fast-tracked visa processing to the lowest non-university providers by the end of the year.
The Department of Immigration has circulated a draft report on the proposed changes and a forum attended by state government officials and education groups was held in Sydney about two weeks ago.
A copy of the report obtained by The Australian Financial Review recommends that a select group of non-university providers posing low immigration risk be invited to opt in on the streamlined arrangements.