All changes to Student and Temporary Graduate visas (with effect from 23 March 2024) explained.

 In Migration News

 English Language Requirements changes 

The Australian Government is making some changes to the English language requirements for students and recent graduates who want to come to Australia. These changes are meant to help students have a better experience studying in Australia and to make sure they’re prepared to join the workforce.

Having good English skills makes it easier for students to live and communicate in Australia. It also helps them understand their rights at work and reduces the chances of them being taken advantage of.

For Student Visas:

  • The minimum test score for the English proficiency requirement for a Student visa increases from International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 5.5 to 6.0 (or equivalent). 
  • The minimum score to undertake a packaged English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS) course increases from IELTS 4.5 to 5.0 (or equivalent). 
  • Students undertaking recognised university foundation or pathway programs that deliver reputable English language training require a score of IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent). These recognised courses will be listed on the Department’s website. 

For Temporary Graduate visas (TGV):

  • The minimum score required for a Temporary Graduate visa increases from IELTS 6.0 to 6.5 (or equivalent), with a minimum score of 5.5 for each component of the test (reading, writing, speaking and listening). 
  • Passport holders from Hong Kong and British National Overseas (BNO) are not required to meet this increased minimum English language requirement. The settings for this cohort remains at IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent), with a minimum score of 5.0 for each component of the test (reading, writing, speaking and listening). 
  • The test validity window for all Temporary Graduate visa applications decreases from three years to one year. Applicants must provide evidence that they have completed an English Language test no more than one year immediately before the date of the visa application. 

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement replaced with Genuine Student (GS) requirement 

The Australian Government is replacing the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement for grant of a Student visa with a Genuine Student (GS) requirement.

The GS requirement is planned to commence for Student visa applications lodged on or after 23 March 2024

The core elements underpinning assessment of the Genuine Student requirement, includes removing confusion about whether applicants can express a desire to migrate to Australia, requiring evidence of course progression, and helping the Department of Home Affairs identify non-genuine students.

The Genuine Student (GS) requirement will take into account:

  • The applicants circumstances
  • Evidence of course progression
  • Immigration history
  • Compliance with visa conditions and various other relevant matter

The declaration for a Student visa will also be changed to confirm that applicants understand what it means to be a genuine student for the purposes of studying in Australia, acknowledging visa conditions, and committing to immediate notification of any changes in circumstances to the Department of Home Affairs. 

“The Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement will be retained for Student Guardian visa applicants  (Subclass 590) and student visa applications lodged before 23 March 2024,” the Department said.

 Section 97 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act) 

The Australian Government has some new rules for schools and colleges that accept students from other countries. These rules are to make sure that only genuine and real students and schools can be part of Australia’s great education system.

From March 23, 2024, there will be new laws to support these rules. These laws give the Immigration Minister power to stop schools from accepting students if they think the students are coming for reasons that aren’t allowed by their visas.

The government will look at a few things to decide if a school should be stopped from accepting new students. They’ll check how many students were refused visas because they used fake documents, how many students broke the rules of their visas, and how many stayed in Australia illegally after finishing their courses.

If a school might be stopped from accepting new students, they’ll get a warning first. Then, they’ll have at least seven days to explain before the government decides if they should be stopped.

If a school is stopped, it means they can’t accept any new international students for six months or until the government says they can again.

These new rules start on March 23, 2024. You can find more details about these rules in the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000.

More information about these changes will be shared on the Department of Home Affairs website and other channels.

If you are currently a Student and have doubts or questions, we’d recommend you to get in touch with Point Break Australia where a Qualified Education Agent will provide a consultation to answer your questions.

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