Oz announces measures to curb abuse of international student visas

Oz announces measures to curb abuse of international student visas

Immigration Minister Chris Evans said the changes strike the right balance between making the visa process easier for genuine students while imposing additional checks on those who may seek to abuse the system.

Over one lakh Indian students are pursuing higher education in Australia.

Students studying more than one course will now be required to meet a higher level of risk assessment within their package of courses, the Australian Associated Press reported.

"This measure will help reduce fraud by ensuring students are not able to select courses they do not intend to complete, simply to receive a more favourable risk assessment level," Evans said.

Changes have also been made to migration regulations to strengthen the visa cancellation guidelines where a student is found to have deferred or suspended studies for non-genuine reasons.

"International students who are genuinely experiencing difficult circumstances will still be able to take temporary leave from their studies," the minister said.

"However, my department now has an improved capacity to verify students' claims where there are not compassionate or compelling reasons for deferral or suspension."

There are also new rules aimed at streamlining visa requirements for prospective postgraduate students from all countries.

"This will enable postgraduate research sector applicants to lodge applications using the e-Visa facility and support growth in this sector," Evans said.

"This decision is based on the low level of fraud and high level of compliance with visa conditions in the sector."