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Australia lowers international student visa assessment levels

world Updated: Apr 06, 2011 15:11 IST

Australian government has lowered the visa assessment levels for International students from 38 countries, including India, under which they would now be required to provide less documentary evidence to support their claims for the grant of visa.

International student visa assessment levels were lowered for 38 countries including India across one or more subclasses from April 2nd this year, according to official statement released recently.

In 2009-10, there were 270,499 student visas granted across the seven subclasses, with 382,710 student visa holders in the country as of 30 June 2010, of whom 80,450 were from India, 80, 010 were from China and 21,720 were from South Korea.

The assessment levels are periodically reviewed and adjusted to reflect changing immigration risk outcomes.

Following the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) review in 2010, the government has decided to implement changes to reduce some student visa assessment levels.

A student visa entitles international students to come to Australia on a temporary basis for a specified period to study at an Australian educational institution.

"Prospective students and their families, agents and education providers should be aware that these changes will lower the minimum evidentiary requirements needed for the grant of a student visa for the selected countries and education sectors," a DIAC spokesman said in the statement.

"However, the reductions to assessment levels do not change the likelihood of a former student in Australia obtaining permanent residence. While many international students apply for permanent residence when they complete their studies, this is an entirely separate process and there is no guarantee that, on the basis of having held a student visa, a person will meet the requirements to be granted permanent residence," he said.

The skilled migration programme is designed to meet the needs of the Australian labour market and strengthen the economy.

Requirements for permanent skilled migration will change from time to time and there is no particular course that guarantees a permanent visa.

"Students should not make educational choices solely on the basis of expecting to achieve a particular migration outcome, because the skilled migration programme will continue to change and adapt to Australia's economic needs," the spokesman said.

Applicants will be required to provide less documentary evidence to support their claims for the grant of a student visa. These may include evidence of English language proficiency, financial capacity and academic qualifications.

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