International students applying to study in Australia are set to benefit from a new simplified student visa framework from mid-2016. This system will replace the current Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) and Assessment Level arrangements.
Under the current system, students fall into one of three assessment levels based on their country of origin and the education sector in which they are planning to study. Assessment Level 1 represents students with the lowest immigration risk and Assessment Level 3 the highest. The higher the assessment level, the greater the amount of evidence an applicant is required to provide in order to support their student visa application.
Students who are eligible for Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) do not receive an assessment level and are subject to lower evidentiary requirements, similar to Assessment Level 1, regardless of their country of origin. To be eligible for streamlined visa processing, students must have a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) for an advanced diploma or higher education program at a participating education provider.
The new simplified student visa framework, set to be introduced mid-next year, will replace the current Streamlined Visa Processing arrangements and Assessment Level Framework. It will see the number of student visa subclasses reduced from eight to two and the introduction of a single immigration risk framework for all international students, rather than the three assessment levels used currently. Under the new framework, students’ evidentiary requirements will be based on their country of origin and education provider, instead of the education sector in which they choose to study.