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Australia's Visa Update: What You Need to Know (Especially if You're a Visitor or Temporary Graduate visa holder)

Australia’s Visa Update: What You Need to Know (Especially if You’re a Visitor or Temporary Graduate visa holder)


Big news for international visitors and temporary graduates in Australia! A series of key visa regulation changes are coming into effect on July 1st, 2024, and it’s crucial to understand how they might impact you. Here’s a breakdown of the most significant updates:

Visitor Visa (Subclass600) to Student Visa Pathway Restrictions

Previously, some visitors in Australia could transition to a student visa while onshore. However, this pathway will be closed from July 1st onwards. This aims to ensure visitor visas are used for their intended purpose – tourism – and student visas are granted only to genuine students committed to furthering their education.
The significant increase of over 36,000 such transitions in the past year has prompted this change.

Restrictions on Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) Holders Applying for Student Visas Onshore

Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa holders will face limitations when applying for Student Visas (Subclass 500) from within Australia. This decision stems from a report by the Grattan Institute titled “Graduates in Limbo,” which revealed that a substantial portion (32%) of Temporary Graduate visa holders returned to study primarily to extend their stay.

The government’s goals with these changes are two fold:

Encourage graduates to pursue skilled employment or permanent residency pathways. This aims to address the issue of “permanently temporary” residents and contribute to Australia’s skilled workforce.
Reduce visa hopping. These changes aim to discourage individuals from exploiting loopholes to extend their stay indefinitely by constantly switching visa types.

Supporting Measures Affecting Temporary Graduate Visa Holders

Reduced Post-Study Work Rights: The duration of post-study work rights for Temporary Graduate visa holders will be significantly shortened. This reinforces the focus on graduates transitioning to skilled work opportunities after completing their studies.

Lowered Age Limit: The maximum age for holding a Temporary Graduate Visa will be reduced from 50 to 35 years. This aligns with the government’s goal of attracting young talent and fostering workforce participation.

Stricter English Language Requirements: The stricter English language requirements introduced in March 2024 will continue to apply. This ensures that those coming to study or work have the necessary communication skills for effective integration into Australian society.

The Rationale Behind the Changes

These visa regulation updates are designed to address loopholes in the migration system and combat “visa hopping.” The government aims to create a system that prioritizes genuine visitors and students while maintaining control over Australia’s population growth.

What should you do?

If you are a visitor or Temporary Graduate visa holder in Australia, it’s crucial to stay informed about these changes and assess how they might impact you. Consider these steps:

  • Review your current visa status and expiry date.
  • Research the new regulations and how they apply to your situation.
  • Seek professional immigration advice from Expert if you have any questions or require assistance navigating the updated visa landscape.
  • By understanding these changes and taking proactive steps, you can ensure a smooth immigration experience in Australia.
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