What are the recent changes?
The recent changes, which came into effect on 1 July 2016, were labelled as “the simplified student visa framework” (SSVF). The new framework is said to provide a more efficient and targeted process for genuine students (with genuineness now being a key criterion).
The new developments consolidated the numerous student visa subclasses into one main subclass (subclass 500). The student guardian (subclass 590) visa remained, along with the temporary graduate (subclass 485) visa and student visa specifically for subsequent entrants.
Under the old structure, students were given different levels of “assessment” (levels 1 to 3), which were based on their country of nationality and passport. Certain countries, especially those that were affected by political and economic issues and civil unrest, were labelled as a level 3 assessment. This in turn impacted the means by which the application was submitted and – unfortunately – the possibility of being granted the visa. However, after the recent changes, all applicants, notwithstanding their nationality or passport, are required to lodge an online application without being designated an assessment level.