Australian Student Visa Assessment Levels Simplified

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Changes to Australian Student Visa Assessment Levels

Within the Australian Student Visa Program, each country, across each education sector, is assigned an assessment level which is based on the calculated immigration risk posed by students from that country studying in that education sector.

To determine the assessment level of a particular country and education sector, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) examines that student group’s compliance with their visa conditions and other indicators of their immigration risk in the previous year. DIBP regularly undertakes a comprehensive risk assessment of the entire student visa caseload and reviews the assessment levels to ensure that they align to the immigration risk of groups.

Following a review of the Student Visa Assessment Level Framework 2013 (AL Framework Review), which recommended that the assessment level framework be simplified to comprise assessment levels 1, 2 and 3, the Australian Government has recently adopted the recommendation. There were 5 assessment level prior to the new legislation recently coming into force, but now, the are only 3 assessment levels. No country was ever assigned Assessment Level 5 (AL5). Those student visa applicants that are AL1 have a reduced level of evidence that they need to submit to support their claims for a student visa.

The removal of Assessment Level 4 (AL4) has had the effect that all students who were subject to AL4 instead are now being assessed as AL3. This is of significant benefit to such students as there is now a reduction in the level of evidence of English language proficiency, their financial capacity, and previous study that they would need to show. The reduction in financial requirements for Assessment Level 3 student visa applicants will bring the Australian student visa in line with key competitor countries so Australia is able to compete internationally based on the quality of education.

The reduction to financial requirements was made possible by the Genuine Temporary Entrant (G.T.E.) requirement, which was not in place when the AL framework was initially established. The G.T.E. requirement takes into account a number of factors, such as the applicant’s immigration history, circumstances that may encourage the applicant to return to their home country, and circumstances that might encourage them to remain in Australia. Essentially, the holistic individual circumstances of an applicant indicate whether their intention is for a temporary stay in Australia.

Further, international students seeking a schools sector visa from countries previously AL4 (now AL3) may, under the recent changes, enroll in Australian secondary schools from Year 7 instead of Year 9. This is of benefit to both students and secondary schools.

No changes have been implemented by the Australian Government for AL1 – AL2 student visa applicants following the review of student visa assessment level framework.

The changes to the Australian Student Visa Program will apply in relation to any new application for a Student Visa. The changes will also benefit students whose applications are being processed by DIBP.

If you want to study in Australia and have been officially accepted into your course of study, you can take National Visas free on-line Student Visa Assessment to see which Student Visa is most appropriate for your circumstances.

Vera Mom
Migration Advisor
MARN: 1383344

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John Bell

Migration Advisor at National Visas
John Bell has been involved in the immigration industry since 2000 and has practiced in Australia as an Australian Registered Migration Agent since 2003. John also worked in the UK as a UK immigration adviser between 2000 and 2002.

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