The Australian government has begun the rollout of certain policies announced as part of the migration strategy.

Key Points:

  • As BAL previously reported, the Australian government released the latest migration strategy outlining key actions and new policy commitments to overhaul the current migration system.
  • The strategy is aimed at tightening visa regulations for international students, specifically targeting temporary graduate and student visas in the vocational and private tertiary sector.
  • For all student visa applications lodged on or after March 23, the genuine student requirement replaced the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement for student visas so that applicants no longer need to satisfy the GTE requirement to provide that they genuinely intend to only stay in Australia temporarily and that they are not motivated to obtain work authorization status.
    • The government has simultaneously granted the Australian skills quality authority the ability to crack down on education providers, focusing on integrity and quality.
  • In addition, higher English language levels requirements for temporary graduate and student visa candidates are now in effect and applications for student or temporary graduate visas will now be assessed under the new English language requirements.

Additional Information: The genuine temporary entrant requirement will remain in effect for student guardian visa applicants. The new genuine student requirement is designed to attract international students with studies and qualifications obtained in Australia and allow them to stay and fill key skill shortages and provide post-study pathways to permanent residence. Australian officials describe that the English language reforms for student visas will support international students and prepare them for the workforce should they decide to pursue work after graduation.

BAL Analysis: These measures represent significant changes to the immigration system and are designed to attract greater highly skilled foreign talent and better prepare international students to enter the Australian workforce. These changes were announced as part of the Australian Government’s Migration Strategy released in Dec. 2023 that was designed to reduce net overseas migration to pre-pandemic levels.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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