Australia to extend streamlined visa processing to diploma level courses

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July 3, 2014 – Announced on 26 May 2014, streamlined visa processing arrangements will be available to international students enrolled in advanced diploma level courses at low immigration risk education providers.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, in a joint media release with Education Minister Christopher Pyne, said that this update to the process of the Australian student visa will “make study in Australia even more attractive to overseas students.”

The Department made related SVP changes on 22 March, allowing overseas students enrolled with low immigration risk education providers who offer bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees to get their student visas faster.

The planned extension, which will only include institutions with low immigration risk, indicates the proper management of immigration risk while ensuring that the country continues to have young overseas talents in universities. According to Minister Pyne, these changes will apply to the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector and higher education sector.

Australia’s international education industry continues to grow, with recent records showing a 27-percent increase in the number of visas granted to offshore applicants in the 2013-14 program year. Minister Pyne said that the planned changes seek to leverage on this trend to attract students who want to study in Australia by reducing red tape.

In mid-2014, DIBP will invite eligible providers through writing to participate in the arrangements. If the Department’s schedule is followed, the changes will take effect by early 2015. By this time, existing streamlined visa processing providers will also be able to offer SVP arrangements, where applicable, to their advanced diploma level students.

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