Australia Tightens Student Visa Requirements, Raising Savings Threshold

Sydney, Australia – May 9, 2024

International students seeking to study in Australia will face stricter visa requirements starting tomorrow, May 10th, 2024. The Australian government has increased the minimum amount of financial resources students must demonstrate to qualify for a visa.

Under the new rule, students will need to show proof of savings equivalent to A$29,710 (approximately ₹16,29,964), which is now 75% of the national minimum wage. This marks the second hike in savings requirements within seven months, aiming to ensure students have sufficient funds to cover living expenses throughout their studies.

The change comes amidst a surge in international student applications. According to Australia Visa News, temporary student visas granted in the country reached a record high of 654,870 in July 2023. The influx of students has reportedly contributed to issues like a shortage of rental housing.

“This adjustment is designed to guarantee students have the necessary resources to manage their basic needs while studying,” a government spokesperson explained. “With potential breaks from classes throughout the year, demonstrating these savings will empower students to plan their finances more effectively.”

This tightening of visa regulations follows a series of measures implemented by the Australian government:

  • Genuine Student Requirement: Replacing the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement, this new policy emphasizes genuine academic intentions over solely seeking work opportunities.
  • Extended Post-Study Work Rights: Effective July 1, 2023, graduates can now find employment related to their field of study for up to two years after completing their program.
  • Minimum English Language Score: International students enrolling in universities and programs require a minimum score of 5.5 on a standardized English language test.
  • Work Hour Limits: Students are now restricted to working a maximum of 48 hours per fortnight during semesters.
  • Skilled Graduate Visa Cap: Introduced in December 2023, a limit now applies to the Skilled-Recognised Graduate visa previously allowing recent engineering graduates extended stays in Australia.
  • Course Enrollment Restrictions: Since September 2023, international students can no longer enroll in two courses simultaneously within the first six months of their primary program.

These cumulative measures reflect the government’s attempt to balance Australia’s attractiveness for international education with managing its immigration intake and addressing local challenges.

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