One student visa to rule them all

New Regulations simplify student visas and clarify the University’s reporting obligations.

From 1 July 2016, Student Visas will no longer be differentiated according to the educational sector (e.g. Schools, VET, Higher Education).

single Student Visa subclass – Subclass 500 (Student) will replace 7 student visa subclasses.

A new Subclass 590 (Student Guardian) replaces the previous Subclass 580. Requirements to confirm the guardian has the financial means to care for the student have been strengthened.

Reporting Requirements

Reporting obligations for education providers have also been streamlined and the University will no longer need to provide certain information to the Department of Education and Training such as:

  • Details of the immigration office where an overseas student’s student visa application
    was made or is expected to be made; and
  • Whether health insurance cover (e.g. Overseas Student Health cover) has been paid for
    prior to course commencement.
Immigration Risk Rating

As part of the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF), an “immigration risk rating” between 1 (low risk) and 3 (high risk) will be given to each education provider registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

The immigration risk rating will be based on the immigration risk outcomes of the institutions’ international students over the preceding 12 month period.

Each country will also be given an immigration risk rating based on this approach.

The institution’s immigration risk rating and the rating of the incoming student’s country of citizenship will be combined to determine the level of documentary evidence of financial capability and English language proficiency that the student will need to provide with their visa application.

Why the change?

The new Regulations follow recommendations that were made in the Future directions for streamlined visa processing report prepared by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

It is the Department’s view that the current eight student visa subclass system is unnecessarily complex and may create confusion for some stakeholders. As all subclasses have similar core requirements, the Department recommends reducing the number of subclasses to two―student and guardian―with some additional requirements, as required, to accommodate differences between sectors such as the schools sector and government sponsored students. Future directions for streamlined visa processing report, page 28.

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement

While the international student visa framework has been simplified, requirements for applicants to provide documentary evidence that demonstrate a genuine intention to study in Australia have been reinforced.

These requirements have been strengthened to ensure application integrity and prevent entry to applicants who may use the student visa as a ‘back door’ into the country.

The legislation requires that students must provide evidence of enrollment (Confirmation of Enrollment for each subject) and evidence that the courses they intend to undertake are registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).


For more information about the Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) please refer to the information provided on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

If you have any questions or concerns about the legislation or would like any further information, please let us know by emailing us at

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