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Posted on 13 Dec '23

New Australia Student Visa Changes and What They Mean for Students

The Australian government has announced changes to the student visa which include a new Genuine Student Test that will replace the existing GTE requirement, an increase in the minimum English language proficiency requirement and changes to the graduate visa.

We’ve taken a look at what these changes are and what they mean for students planning to study a postgraduate course in Australia.

The new Genuine Student Test

The government is set to introduce the new Genuine Student Test. This will replace the existing Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement for which students had to include a personal statement of 300 words along with supporting documents like previous study, employment and economic situation in their home country.

The new test has been introduced “in the hope to incentivise genuine student applications”. Even though the details of what the questions of the test will cover have not been released yet, the government has assured that post-study pathways will still be open to students who are eligible.

Increase in the minimum English language requirement

Starting early next year, the minimum English language proficiency required to apply for an Australian student visa is set to increase from an IELTS 5.5 to 6.0. The minimum language requirement if you’re applying for the Temporary Graduate Route visa will also increase from IELTS 6.0 to 6.5.

We have information on what English language tests you can give to apply for a postgraduate course in Australia, what the IELTS exam is and what can you actually expect from an IELTS exam.

Changes to Temporary Graduate Route visas

The Temporary Graduate Route, Australia’s post-study work visa, will also go through a revamp, the government have said in the same announcement. This is a summary of the changes that have been announced:

  • Length of graduate visas granted for students with a Masters by coursework is now two years (reduced from three years).
  • Length of graduate visas granted for students with a Masters by research remain unchanged at three years.
  • Length of graduate visas granted for students with a PhD is now three years (reduced from four years).

If you’re looking to continue to stay and work in Australia after your studies, read our guide on working in Australia after your studies.

We’ll keep you updated of any new announcements. In the meantime, if you’re interested in studying in Australia, have a look at our course listings and find a course that is right for you and read our comprehensive guides on applications, visas and student life in Australia.

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Last Updated: 13 December 2023