Change in Australia Visa Rules- Students Must Show Higher Savings From Oct 1

The Australian government has hiked the minimum savings for students seeking educational opportunities in the country. International students applying for the Australian student visa will have to show a minimum savings of $24,505 from 1 October 2023. The number spells a hefty increase of 17% from the current levels. The government will also conduct additional scrutiny of high-risk cohorts and look for robust documentation to cut down fraud risk in international students' applications.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported a significant increase in the number of international students landing in the country this year, swelling from 60,420 in July 2022 to 131,640 in July 2023. The hike aims to ensure that the international students arriving in the country can support themselves and be safe from the risk of exploitation due to a pressing need for employment.

According to Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil, international education is the country’s fourth largest export. Australia needs to maintain its reputation for quality education and prevent the exploitation of international students.

Another concern for the country is international students abandoning their primary course after arrival and moving to expensive vocational training programmes or entering the workforce prematurely. The government has already addressed the loophole that permitted education providers to move international students who have been in the country for less than 6 months from study programmes to work access.

Furthermore, it may implement regulations to establish grounds for using suspension certificates, such as fraudulent document application rates and provider refusal rates. It may even leverage the Education Services for Overseas Students Act’s Section 97 to issue suspension certificates to problematic education providers. With a suspension certificate, these providers will no longer be able to recruit international students.

The implications of these steps are yet to be seen, but one thing is clear- you will need to rethink your finances and strengthen your savings to fulfil your international education dreams in Australia.

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