New Genuine Student Requirement and English Language Requirements for Student Visa.

New Genuine Student Requirement and English Language Requirements for Student VisaStarting from 23 March 2024, significant changes have been implemented in Australia’s Student Visa regulations, affecting both the Genuine Student (GS) requirement and English Language Requirements for Student and Temporary Graduate visas. These changes, outlined in the Australian Government’s Migration Strategy released on 11 December 2023, aim to streamline the visa application process, enhance the educational experience for international students, and address skill shortages in Australia’s workforce.

Genuine Student Requirement Replaces Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement

One of the most notable changes is the replacement of the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement with the Genuine Student (GS) requirement for Student visas. This alteration simplifies the assessment process for a student’s intention to study in Australia. Unlike the previous GTE requirement, which focused on temporary stays, the GS requirement acknowledges the potential for eligible graduates to pursue post-study pathways to permanent residence. This shift reflects Australia’s recognition of the valuable contribution international students make to its skilled workforce.

Under the GS requirement, the assessment of a student’s genuine intention to study in Australia considers various factors, including the applicant’s circumstances, course progression, immigration history, compliance with visa conditions, and other relevant matters. This amendment aims to identify non-genuine students seeking entry into Australia for purposes other than education.

It’s important to note that while the GS requirement replaces the GTE requirement for Student visas, the GTE requirement will still apply to Student Guardian visa applicants.

New English Language Requirements

In conjunction with the changes to the Genuine Student Requirement, revisions have been made to the English Language Requirements for both Student and Temporary Graduate visas. These adjustments, outlined in the Migration Strategy, are designed to support international students in having a positive educational experience and prepare them for potential skilled workforce opportunities post-graduation.

Temporary Graduate Visa (TGV) English Language Requirements:

  • The minimum IELTS test score required for a TGV has increased from 6.0 to 6.5 (or equivalent), with a minimum score of 5.5 for each component (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).
  • The validity window for the English Language test has decreased from 3 years to 1 year. TGV applicants must now provide evidence of completing an English Language test within 1 year immediately before the visa application date.

Student Visa English Language Requirements:

  • The minimum IELTS test score required for a Student visa has increased from 5.5 to 6 (or equivalent).
  • The minimum IELTS test score required for students undertaking a packaged ELICOS has increased from 4.5 to 5.0.
  • There is no change for students solely studying English through ELICOS.
  • Students enrolled in university foundation or pathway programs delivering reputable English language training will require a minimum IELTS score of 5.5 (or equivalent).

These adjustments ensure that students have the necessary English language proficiency to transition successfully into their chosen courses, thereby enhancing their educational experience in Australia.

The introduction of the Genuine Student Requirement and the revised English Language Requirements signify a commitment by the Australian Government to maintain the integrity of its visa system while supporting international students in achieving their academic and career goals in Australia.

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