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Posted on 22 Feb '24

International Student Visas: Updates and Recent Changes

The international study landscape is always changing and recently there have been a number of changes in student visas for some of the most popular study abroad countries. Countries including UK, Canada and Australia have announced visa changes which are likely to have an impact on your decision on where to study your PhD.

We’ve been keeping you updated as these have been announced but this blog brings them all together so you can see how things stand across the world and make an informed decision.

United Kingdom

UK student visas have gone through a number of changes in the last few months. Most recently, the Immigration Health Surcharge has increased to £776 per year for students and to £1,035 per year for graduates. Application fees for both students and graduates have also increased by about £100.

The government also announced restrictions on bringing dependants along. Students on taught Masters courses can no longer bring dependants with them. PhD and Research Masters students are unaffected by this rule. Students can also no longer switch to a work visa before the end of their course.

We’ve talked about all these changes in a little more detail in another blog.

Australia

Australian visas have gone through a bit of an overhaul as well. A new Genuine Student Test will replace the existing Graduate Temporary Entrant requirement. This new test “incentivises genuine student applications” but details of what the questions will be have not been released yet.

The length of the Temporary Graduate Route (Australia’s post-study work visa) has also been cut by a year for both Masters by coursework and PhD students, and the minimum English language test requirement for students is now an IELTS 6.0 and for graduates is now an IELTS 6.5.

Read more about these changes and how they affect students in our blog.

Canada

Even though there is now a two-year cap on the number of international study permit being granted in Canada, Masters and PhD students are currently unaffected by this rule. In some more good news, both Masters and PhD students will now be able to apply for a three-year post study work visa (as opposed to the previous one-or two-year permit for Masters students).

However, the minimum amount required for proof of funds when applying for a study permit is increasing to CAD$15,078 for students in Quebec and CAD$20,635 for everyone else.

We’ve put together another blog where we talk about all these updates in more detail.

Positive updates from Europe

We understand these updates don’t all look positive and might be the cause of some worry. We’re also here to tell you that there are still plenty of options out there and countries like Germany, Italy and France have been taking steps to make their study offer more appealing to international students.

Germany is working towards doubling the number of Indian students in the country by focussing on their post-study work offerings. Currently students can stay up to 18 months after they finish their course.

Italy’s new mobility agreement with India allows students to stay up to 12 months after they graduate.

France also plans to welcome 30,000 more Indian students by 2030 by investing in more international courses and helping students learn French.

As always, we’ll continue to keep you up to date with changes to the international postgraduate world. In the meantime, sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know if anything changes!

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Last Updated: 22 February 2024