Australia relaxes visa rules for Indian students

 Australia has, in the last 12 months, seen a sharp decline in its education export industry.

The student visa changes announced focus largely on the financial requirements in obtaining student visas. Indian students who are considering pursuing a Bachelor’s degree, Associate degree, Graduate certificate, Graduate diploma or Master’s in Australia, may now find it easier to meet the financial requirements as a result of India being upgraded as a lesser risk country under the new review.

These new changes would mean that students now need to demonstrate lesser funds in order to obtain a visa for higher education. For all student visa applications to be lodged on or after April 1, 2011, students would need to show funds for only two years of their studies instead of the current three-year requirement. Moreover, such funds need now to be only three months old against the previous six months requirement.

The new law that comes into effect in April 2011 will allow students to be sponsored by any individual against the current legal requirement that limits the sponsorship to the applicant’s spouse, parents, siblings, grandparents and uncle or aunt.

Naresh Gulati, CEO of Oceanic Consultants, says: “The changes announced would help Australia regain its position as a more favourable destination among Indian students.”

The changes also bring down financial requirements for students who prepay their boarding through universities in Australia. These changes have come into effect from December 16, 2010.

Naresh expressed concern about the abuse of student visas by some students and agents. He said, “It is unfortunate that some students and agents are using student visas as a back-door entry to various countries. Students must look at choosing the right institution and channels to pursue their higher education abroad.”

For more information regarding student visas to Australia, visit www.oceanicconsultants.com

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