Thursday, 21 March 2024
Media release

Albanese Government continues to deliver on Migration Strategy

​This Saturday 23 March, the Government will deliver on key commitments made in the Migration Strategy and key recommendations of the Migration Review. This follows a raft of action last year to close off pandemic-era concessions introduced by the former Government, including unrestricted working hours for international students and the Pandemic Event visa.

English language requirements for student and graduate visas will be increased to improve the quality of students’ education experience and to reduce potential workplace exploitation. Australia is a proud multicultural, multilingual country, but the Migration Review found “student English language requirements may not set up students to succeed”. English language requirements for student visas will be increased from IELTS 5.5 to 6.0 and for graduate visas from IELTS 6.0 to 6.5.

The Government’s powers under Section 97 of the ESOS Act also come into force, giving the Government the ability to suspend high risk education providers from recruiting international students. In coming weeks, the highest risk providers – otherwise known as ghost colleges and visa factories - will be issued with warning notices. They’ll be given 6 months to get their act together, if not, they’ll be suspended from recruiting international students.

A new Genuine Student Test will be introduced to further crack down on international students looking to come to Australia primarily to work, rather than study. This test will ask students to answer questions about their study intentions and their economic circumstances, with a declaration to be made that they understand what it means to be a genuine student.

To avoid visitor visas being used as a way to subvert offshore student visa integrity checks, the Government will be increasing the imposition of “no further stay” conditions on visitor visas. If a prospective student is offshore and looking to come to Australia as a student, then they should apply for a student visa offshore.

Attributable to Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security Clare O’Neil​

“Since September, the Government’s actions have led to substantial declines in migration levels, with recent international student visa grants down by 35% on the previous year.

“The actions this weekend will continue to drive migration levels down while delivering on our commitments in the Migration Strategy to fix the broken system we inherited.”