Graduate Visa

Introducing “Genuine Student Test” and “Graduate Visa Revamp” | Australia’s New Migration Strategy

Breaking News! Australia has released a new migration strategy, tightening entry requirements for international students and revamping post-study work visas. The Australian government has promised to apply more scrutiny to student visa applications and revamp its graduate visa system, as part of the long-awaited migration Review. The document, officially titled the “Migration Strategy”, includes eight key actions to overhaul the migration system, one of which focuses on the international education system in Australia. 

8 Key actions of Australia’s new migration strategy

The 8 key actions in Australia’s new migration strategy roadmap have been developed through extensive consultation with unions, businesses, civil, international education, civil society, and many Australians. Here are the 8 key actions of Australia’s new migration strategy (based on Australia’s official document).

  1. Targeting temporary skilled migration to address skills needs and promote worker mobility.
  2. Reshaping permanent skilled migration to drive long-term prosperity.
  3. Strengthening the integrity and quality of international education.
  4. Tackling worker exploitation and the misuse of the visa system.
  5. Planning migration to get the right skills in the right places.
  6. Tailoring regional visas and the working holiday maker program to support regional Australia and its workers.
  7. Deepening our people-to-people ties in the Indo-Pacific.
  8. Simplifying the migration system to improve the experience for migrants and employers.

Key measures of the international education system in Australia

Australia has released its new migration strategy, tightening entry requirements for international students and revamping post-study work visas. Key measures include:

  • Greater scrutiny of both student and graduate visa applications, with a $19m investment of cash into a new Home Affairs visa integrity unit.
  • A new Genuine Student Test to help “incentivise” genuine applications and discourage those that are non-genuine.
  • Elimination of the extension of post-study work rights, and shorter periods on initial temporary graduate visas.
  • Higher English language requirements for both international students and graduates.

Genuine student test in Australia

According to the new migration strategy in Australia, “International education is a new engine of economic growth for Australia and an important part of our social fabric.” Growth in the sector needs to be promoted through integrity and quality, and students and graduates need to be better supported to realize their economic potential in the labor market.

As part of the migration review, the government will introduce a brand new “Genuine Student Test”, which assures it will “incentivise” genuine student applications and discourage those that are not.  These integrity measures should be taken to improve standards in the sector for both providers and students so that graduates do not become ‘permanently temporary’.

Benefits of New “Genuine Student Test” in Australia

The Australian government has recently introduced a new Genuine Student Test for international students. Here are the benefits of the Genuine Student Test in Australia-

  • The new genuine student test will replace the existing Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement and the eligible students will get the opportunity to post-study migration pathways. 
  • A list of detailed questions will be included in the test to discourage fake applications and abuse of the system.
  • This test will clear that the vast majority of international students in Australia will return home after their studies. 
  • To allow greater scrutiny of the application and document reads, this package will include a $19m investment into a new Department of Home Affairs’ student visa integrity unit.
  • This Genuine Student Test will reduce the misuse of student visas by those using it to seek work in Australia instead of study.

A revamp on temporary graduate visa

Temporary Graduate Visas will also be revamped, as the current form of graduate visa has led many graduates to become “permanently temporary” in Australia. The new migration strategy in Australia shows that graduate visas will be strengthened to ensure more are working at their skill level and addressing the skills gaps in Australia – avoiding the “permanently temporary” label. The temporary graduate visa has dealt with difficult truths regarding its post-study work scheme. 

Key actions on revamping the temporary graduate visa in Australia

The Australian government has taken some actions to revamp the temporary graduate visa (post-study work stream). Here are the actions-

  • The eligibility for a second temporary graduate visa will be unchanged.
  • The further extension of two years in graduate visa will be eliminated.
  • Graduates in skilled jobs in the labor market can instead apply for the newly introduced “Skills in Demand” visa.
  • The Government is strengthening the pathway from graduate visas to temporary skilled visas to give employers more certainty about their work rights.

Lengths of temporary graduate visa under the migration reforms

According to the new migration strategy in Australia, the length of temporary graduate visas has changed. And here it is-

  • 2 years for Bachelor’s Degree (no change)
  • 2 years for Masters (reduced from 3 years)
  • 3 years for Masters (research) (no change)
  • 3 years for PhD (reduced from 4 years)

A revamp on English language requirements for international students in Australia

A new English language requirement for international students and graduates has been introduced recently. Starting next year, student visa English language requirements will increase from IELTS 5.5 to 6.0. And the minimum score for a temporary graduate visa will move up to 6.5 from 6.0. For those who want to take an ELICOS before they come to Australia, the test score they must achieve should be 4.5 to 5.0. For Foundation and Pathway programs the test score will be at least 5.5.

Wrap up

Australia has released a new migration strategy by introducing the “Genuine Student Test” and revamping the temporary graduate visa. It will tighten entry requirements for international students so that they can “incentivise” genuine student applications and discourage those that are not. Stay tuned to AIMS Education for getting these types of updates on Australian immigration laws.

FAQ

What is genuine student test in Australia?

Ans: It is an assessment process that aims to identify students who genuinely intend to study in Australia instead of working and have a legitimate purpose for their temporary stay.

What are the new changes in student visas in Australia?

Ans:  From next year, student visa English language requirements will increase from IELTS 5.5 to 6.0. And the minimum temporary graduate visa score will move up to 6.5 from 6.0.

What is the new length for a post-study work visa in Australia?

Ans: Temporary Graduate Visa lengths under the migration reforms:

  • 2 years for Bachelor’s Degree (no change)
  • 2 years for Masters (reduced from 3 years)
  • 3 years for Masters (research) (no change)
  • 3 years for PhD (reduced from 4 years)

What are the English language requirements for international students in Australia?

Ans: From next year, student visa English language requirements will increase from IELTS 5.5 to 6.0. And the minimum score for a temporary graduate visa will move up to 6.5 from 6.0. For Foundation and Pathway programs the test score will be at least 5.5.

Why Australian government has introduced a new “Genuine Student Test”?

Ans: These integrity measures should be taken to improve standards in the sector for both providers and students so that graduates do not become ‘permanently temporary’.

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