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Stage Two Implementation of the Knight Review Changes to the Student Visa Program

Stage two is to be implemented in 2012 and 2013.  A number of key measures commenced on24 and 26 March 2012 and these are detailed below.

1.Streamlined visa processing

From 24 March 2012, student visa applicants who lodge their applications with a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from a participating university in Australia at Bachelor, Masters or Doctoral degree level will be assessed as though they are a lower migration risk (similar to the current Assessment Level 1), regardless of their country of origin.  This means that these applicants will generally have reduced evidentiary requirements when applying for a student visa.


2. More flexible work conditions

From 26 March 2012, student visa holders are able to take advantage of more flexible work conditions. The previous work condition of 20 hours per week during any week while the course is in session has changed to 40 hours per fortnight during any fortnight while the course is in session. This provides more flexibility for student visa holders and their employers.

In addition, from 26 March 2012, Higher Degree by Research (HDR) student visa holders are no longer limited in the number of hours that they can work once their course has commenced.

These changes apply to both new and existing student visa holders from 26 March 2012.



3. More flexible arrangements for English language study

On 24 March 2012, the maximum period of English language study for Schools Sector (subclass 571) visa holders subject to Assessment Level 3 and above increased to 50 weeks. This compares to the previous arrangements where Assessment Level 3 students were restricted to 40 weeks and Assessment Level 4 students to 30 weeks.

In addition, from 24 March 2012, new Student Guardian (subclass 580) visa holders are able to undertake unlimited ELICOS study on a part-time basis (less than 20 hours per week) while in Australia as the holder of that visa.



4.Removal of the requirement for Assessment Level 4 Schools Sector (subclass 571) visa applicants to provide evidence of an English language proficiency test to support their application for a student visa.



5.A policy change to allow flexibility for departmental case officers to grant student visas more than four months before the start of the course.


Source by Australian Immigration Official Website 

Last Updated on 28 March 2012