At a time when Australia’s education sector is showing effects of the bad press attracted by racist attacks on Indians, the country’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has made it easier for students from India and 37 other countries to get a student visa to study in Australia.
With the more lenient international student visa assessment levels, applicants will need to submit fewer documents to support their student visa application.
These may include evidence of English language proficiency, financial capacity and academic qualifications.
“These changes will lower the minimum evidentiary requirements needed for the grant of a student visa for the selected countries and education sectors,” says a DIAC spokesman.
An Australian student visa allows Indian students to live in Australia for a specified period to study at an Australian educational institution. In 2009-10, Australia granted 270,499 student visas. As of June 2010, there were 382,710 international students in the country.
One in five international students (80,450) in Australia is from India. Similarly, there are 80,010 students from China and 21,720 from South Korea.
International education in Australia is an AU$14 billion industry, and Australia seems to be keen to boost this export market. While many international students from India see overseas education as an opportunity to explore the living opportunities in Australia, the Australian government knows its priorities and clarifies that “the reductions to assessment levels do not change the likelihood of a former student in Australia obtaining permanent residence.”
Australia sees Indian students as a revenue-generating avenue for the ex-chequer, but does not necessarily consider Indian students suitable for permanent residence.
“Students should not make educational choices solely on the basis of expecting to achieve a particular migration outcome, because the skilled migration program will continue to change and adapt to Australia’s economic needs,” says the spokesman.
“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.”
The spokesperson clarified that “there is no particular (study) course that guarantees a permanent visa.”
For more information about the lowered assessment levels for a student visa in Australia, please visit the DIAC website.