The Australian Government has recently announced a significant review in the migration system that will impact both international students and skilled migrants. During a press conference in Canberra, the Minister of Home Affairs, Clare O’Neill, and the Immigration Minister, Andrew Giles, discussed these changes in response to a migration system review earlier this year. They assure that the proposed reforms are based on strategies to enhance the Australian migration system according to the ‘MIGRATION STRATEGY‘ report, Getting Migration Working for the Nation.
Here’s a summary of some key points, especially those directly affecting international students:
Drastic Reduction in Migration Numbers
Australia’s migration hit a record high of 510,000 individuals in 2022-23, largely due to international students. Hence, the government aims to reduce migration to more ‘sustainable’ levels given the tight rental market in Australia. Official data projects migration to decrease to around 250,000 individuals by 2025.
New English Language Requirements for International Students
There are plans to increase the minimum required scores in English language exams for those wishing to study in Australia. The IELTS score for postgraduate visas will rise from 6.0 to 6.5, while the requirement for student visas will increase from 5.5 to 6.0.
New Highly Skilled Immigrant Visa
The government is introducing a ‘Skills in Demand Visa’, replacing the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482). It aims to attract highly skilled workers from industries like technology and energy, but this pathway will be reserved for professionals earning a minimum of $135,000 per annum.
Restrictions on Visa or Course Changes
The report highlights the creation of a migrant class known as “Permanently Temporary”, individuals who have lived in the country for a prolonged period but lack a pathway to permanent residency or citizenship. To address this issue, the government will scrutinize second visa applicants more rigorously and is considering a ‘Genuine Student Test’, where the student must demonstrate the genuine intention and professional development benefits. Additionally, holders of a temporary postgraduate visa cannot transfer back to a student visa while in the country.
Reduced Post-Study Work Rights
Despite extending work rights for Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders earlier this year, the government will eliminate this extension and reduce the duration of initial 485 visas. The strategy also suggests lowering the maximum age of applicants from 50 to 35 years old.
There’s a lot happening in Australia, and we want to keep you informed! If you’re considering studying here, it’s the perfect time to plan your trip. We’re here to guide you at every step, answer your questions, and ensure you have all the information you need.
Contact us, and let’s make your dream of studying in Australia a reality!”