New Visa Rules for Australia: Students and Temporary Visa Holders Take Note!

Australia's government has introduced new immigration measures to prevent indefinite extensions of stay for international students and temporary visa holders. Starting July 1, 2024, significant changes will include restrictions on applying for student visas onshore and revised rules for Temporary Graduate Visa holders.
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Australia has recently introduced a series of immigration measures to manage the stay of international students and temporary visa holders more effectively. These changes aim to address the growing issue of visa extensions and ensure that immigration pathways align with the country’s long-term goals.

Why the Crackdown?

The Australian government’s Migration Strategy, released in 2023, identified visa hopping as a key concern. The number of international students remaining in Australia on a second or subsequent student visa surged by over 30% in 2022-23, exceeding 150,000. This growth posed challenges for managing population levels.

Key Changes Effective July 1, 2024

Here’s a detailed breakdown of what these new rules mean for those affected.

1. Crackdown on Visa Extensions

End of ‘Visa Hopping’

Australia’s government has pledged to end the practice known as ‘visa hopping,’ where international students and temporary visa holders extend their stay indefinitely through various visa applications. This commitment is a key part of the nation’s Migration Strategy, which was outlined last year.

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Significant Increase in Multiple Visa Holders

The Migration Strategy revealed that the number of international students staying in Australia on multiple student visas has surged by over 30%, reaching more than 150,000 in the 2022-23 period. This trend prompted the need for stricter regulations to manage the flow of international students and their impact on the population.

2. Stricter Measures for Visa Applications

New ‘No Further Stay’ Conditions

To combat visa hopping, Australia has introduced ‘no further stay’ conditions on visitor visas. This prevents individuals from applying for new visas while still in the country. Additionally, the Genuine Student requirement, implemented in March, now requires credible course progression to approve subsequent student visa applications.

Visitor Visa Changes Effective July 1, 2024

From July 1, 2024, individuals holding Visitor Visas will no longer be able to apply for Student Visas while in Australia. This change addresses the increasing trend where visitor-to-student visa applications were used to circumvent strengthened offshore student visa regulations.

Also Read: Australia to Launch New Visa for Skilled Workers, Replacing BIIP

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3. Revised Rules for Temporary Graduate Visas

Restriction on Onshore Student Visa Applications

Temporary Graduate Visa holders will also be restricted from applying for Student Visas while in Australia starting July 1, 2024. This change aims to ensure that graduates either find skilled employment or return to their home countries, rather than extending their stay through additional study.

Impact on Temporary Graduate Visa Holders

A report by the Grattan Institute highlighted that 32% of Temporary Graduate Visa holders extended their stay by returning to study when their visa expired. The new rule clarifies that graduates should transition to permanent residency through skilled jobs or depart the country, reducing the risk of becoming ‘permanently temporary.’

4. Comprehensive Changes to Temporary Graduate Visas

Shorter Post-Study Work Rights

Post-study work rights for Temporary Graduate Visa holders will be significantly reduced. This aims to encourage graduates to move more swiftly into the workforce or pursue other permanent residency pathways.

Lower Age Limits and Higher Language Requirements

In March, Australia reduced the age limit for Temporary Graduate Visas from 50 to 35 years and increased the English language requirements. These changes aim to attract younger, more skilled immigrants with strong language proficiency.

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5. Impact on Net Overseas Migration

Targeted Reduction in Migration

The new measures are expected to substantially decrease net overseas migration. The government aims to halve net overseas migration by the next financial year, aligning with broader population management strategies.

Also Read: Australia Unveils New Program for Indian Graduates to Work and Live

6. Restoring Integrity in the International Student System

Ending Unrestricted Work Rights

One of the key steps taken to restore integrity in the international student system includes ending previously unrestricted work rights. This ensures that students are primarily focused on their studies rather than using the visa system to gain long-term employment.

Phasing Out the COVID Visa

The former Australian government has also phased out the COVID-19 visa, which allowed flexible work and study arrangements during the pandemic, to tighten immigration controls.

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Key Takeaways

  • Australia is tightening its visa system to address concerns about “visa hopping.”
  • The new measures aim to encourage international students to pursue legitimate study pathways and graduates to transition to permanent residency or depart as intended.
  • These reforms are expected to reduce net overseas migration and promote a more balanced population growth strategy.

Final Words

These changes reflect Australia’s commitment to refining its immigration policies to better manage population growth and ensure that temporary visas serve their intended purpose.

International students and temporary visa holders planning to extend their stay should familiarize themselves with these new rules to align their plans with Australia’s evolving immigration landscape.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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