Streamlined Visa Processing 2014
Extension of student visa streamlined visa processing arrangements to non-university education providers from March 2014
It is proposed that streamlined visa processing arrangements will be available to certain low immigration risk non-university education providers who offer Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral degree courses. This would be an extension of the arrangements that have been available to the university sector since March 2012.
It is proposed that the student visa Assessment Level Framework would be reduced from five assessment levels to three (AL1 to AL3). Currently no country or education sector is subject to AL5. It is proposed that countries and education sectors currently subject to AL4 would be reduced to AL3.
It is also proposed that the financial requirements for an AL3 student visa applicant would be reduced from the current 18 months to 12 months. These funds must be provided by a close relative of the student visa applicant.
These proposed changes would lower the minimum evidentiary requirements needed for the grant of a Student visa for AL3 countries and education sectors, providing a benefit to prospective students.
On 29 October 2013, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection publicly released the final report of the Review of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework.
The review considered how the student visa risk management framework could be reformed to achieve enhanced integrity in the student visa program while at the same time facilitating the competitiveness of Australia’s international sector. Consideration of how the student visa risk management framework could be informed by a provider-based risk approach was a key issue for the review.
The review also examined whether the student visa risk framework was appropriately responsive to differences within countries and between education providers, what eligibility thresholds should apply, and how the framework will be reviewed to ensure future immigration risks are identified and managed.